Muslims Injure Christians in Attack on Christian Center in Egypt, Police Impose Curfew on Christians after Instigating Assault


WASHINGTON, D.C: June 25, 2009. International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that several Christians, including a priest, were injured

after Muslims attacked a Christian center in the city of Ezbet Boshra-East in Egypt. Police arrested 19 Christians following the attack. Father Issac Castor told ICC and the Voice of the Copts that the attack took place on June 21 at 11 A.M., when 25 young Copts traveled from Cairo to visit him. Currently living in a three-story building owned by the Coptic Church, Father Castor told the visitors that only five people should come into his house at a time because the police prohibit any gathering of people at the building. As soon as the five young people entered the building, police observers informed local Muslims about the gathering. Muslim fanatics soon arrived, carrying sticks and stones and began assaulting the Christians. They also broke into several Christian homes in the city and vandalized a car belonging to Father Castor. The police took no action to protect the Christians from the assault. Instead of arresting the offenders, the police put the Christians in the city under curfew. This is not the first time that Christians in the city of Ezbet Boshra-East have come under attack. In July 2008, Christian farmlands were vandalized, and their domestic animals were poisoned by Muslims after a group of Christians conducted services at the Christian center. The services were held at the center because the Egyptian authorities refused to allow them to construct a church. In an interview with ICC, Father Castor said, "We need our religious freedom. We need to be able to pray and build our church." Jonathan Racho, ICC's Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East, said, "The attack on Christians and their properties is a gross violation of their rights. It is shameful that the Egyptian police instigated the assault. We call upon the Egyptian authorities to investigate these unjust actions against Christians and bring the perpetrators to justice. We also ask Egypt to release the 19 arrested Christians."

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