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Coptic Head Orders No Prayer in Disputed Church

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  • SOCM News Bureau
    Coptic Head Orders No Prayer in Disputed Church By Ethan Cole Christian Post Reporter Wed, Nov. 26 2008 05:40 PM EST The Coptic Pope Shenuda III barred
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 26, 2008
      Coptic Head Orders No Prayer in Disputed Church
      By Ethan Cole
      Christian Post Reporter
      Wed, Nov. 26 2008 05:40 PM EST

      The Coptic Pope Shenuda III barred Egyptian Christians from praying
      in a church building in Cairo Tuesday after sectarian violence broke
      out this past weekend over the building's use as a Christian prayer hall.

      At least eight men were arrested on Sunday night when Muslims clashed
      with Coptic Christians in the neighborhood of Ein Shams to protest
      the use of the property for prayer, according to state news agency MENA.

      Muslims reportedly threw stones and burned two cars during the riot.

      In response to the clash, Pope Shenuda III ordered Copts to cease
      praying in the church-owned building that was previously an unused factory.

      Following the clash, Copts complained about the unfair law that
      requires them to be granted presidential permission before building a
      church or expanding an existing church. The authorization is
      difficult to near impossible to get and many Christians feel the law
      exists only to oppress the Christian minority community in a country
      where 90 percent or more of the population is Muslim.

      Relations between Egyptian Muslims and the Christian minority were in
      the past peaceful, but have recently grown strained. Conversions to
      Christianity and a growing tendency to work and live among members of
      one's religion have escalated tension between the two groups.

      There are an estimated 10 million Copts in Egypt, or the equivalent
      of about 10 percent of the population. The Coptic population, or the
      Orthodox Christians of Egypt, is the largest group of Christians in
      the Middle East.

      Source:
      http://christianpost.com/article/20081126/coptic-head-orders-no-prayer-in-disput\ed-church.htm
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