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Saint Tadros Church in Menbal village
The Saint Tadros Church in Menbal.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

An attack by a mob of Muslim militants in the village of Menbal left Coptic Christians hiding in their homes while security forces patrolled the streets in an effort to restore peace. At last report, the situation in the village 225 kilometres south of Cairo remained tense.

The violence began after Muslim villagers accused one of the Copts of publishing a Facebook post which insulted Islam. In the July 5th post, Abdo Adel compared Muhammad with Jesus. As a result of the post, charges were filed against him and he was remanded in custody pending further investigation.

On the evening of July 9th, villagers began pelting the Coptic-owned homes with stones and bricks while shouting and chanting. Some of the victims suffered minor injuries. Attackers attempted to break into a church but were stopped when security forces fired into the air. Regional security officers had to be called to help stop the violence.

After security forces were finally able to restore order, a curfew was imposed from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Police have arrested 90 Muslim villagers. Friends of Abdo explain that he is not very literate, resulting in a post that he did not fully understand: "He is not good at reading and writing, and he is not good at dealing with his Facebook page in the best way, which put him and the village in this crisis."

Pray that peace will be fully restored in the area, and that any hard feelings between villagers will be replaced with compassion, forgiveness and understanding. Pray that these victimized Christians will be able to use this situation as an opportunity to share the love of Christ with those around them. Pray that justice will be done for those responsible for the violence.

Country Information

Designation
Persecuted

Population
106,437,241 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Egyptian (99.7), other (0.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (90), Christianity (10)

Leader
President Abdelfattah Said El-Sisi (2014)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system
Mixed legal system based on Napoleonic civil and penal law, Islamic religious law, and vestiges of colonial-era laws

Source: World Factbook

Pray for Egypt

Pray on behalf of those who are facing economic and social challenges because of their Christian faith. Ask the Lord to provide for their spiritual and practical needs – further strengthening and emboldening them so they can effectively share the message of the Gospel with others in their communities. May the hearts of those who hear it be open and receptive to the wonderful truths contained in God’s Word.

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