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21Please pray for the Church in Egypt

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Mar 10, 2001
      Please pray for the Church in

      Egyptian Police destroys a Coptic Church and hospitalizes its priest,
      after local bishop asks for permission to hold prayers.

      Washington DC (2/26/2001)--U.S. Copts Association received credible
      information that On Saturday 2/24/2001, over 100 policemen,
      accompanied by few lieutenant and Generals as well as 5 bulldozers
      stormed the Church of (St. Bola) located in Shobra Elkhaima
      (Qalyubia) and under the bishopric of H.G. Bishop Marcos. The priest
      servicing the Church, Fr. Bola, refused to leave the church in
      protest of the action by the police. The bulldozers started
      destroying the church while the priest was inside and he was later
      hospitalized in serious condition with visible wounds and emotional
      shock and distress.

      The church building was bought and owned by H.G. Bishop Marcos,
      bishop of El-Qalyubia, since 1998. The building, which is a four
      story in height, was being prepared by the Coptic Church to be used
      for prayers and charitable work.

      Bishop Marcos told US Copts Association that on Monday 2/19/2001 he
      sent a letter to the interior ministry requesting a permission to
      open the building to be used for Sunday school classes, daycare,
      medical facility as well as a church. Five days after the bishop sent
      his letter requesting permission for the building, the police stormed
      the building and demolished it.

      According to Bishop Marcos, the police are still carrying on the
      action of destroying the building, until the time of this release,
      and have barricaded all surrounding neighborhoods and refused to llow
      Muslim and Christian residents back into their homes. I fears that
      such action by the police will aggravate the Muslim and Christian
      communities in the area and may start another wave of violence
      against the Copts. "Already Muslims are blaming the church and the
      Copts for the police presence in the area and disallowing them back
      to their homes" said the bishop.

      This aggression by the Egyptian police is an example of what takes
      place from church to church in Egypt during the application of the
      Hamayni Decree, which prohibits Christians from building a church
      without getting permission from President Mubarak himself.

      We call on the Egyptian President, Prim Minister and Minister of
      interior to launch an investigation into this incident now and to
      allow the people to go back to their homes. We also call on the
      government to compensate the Coptic Church for the destruction of
      this property.

      Hosny Hakim