Friday, August 15, 2014

Egypt’s Destroyed Churches One Year Later

Right after the dispersal of Rabaa sit in last 14 August 2013 , Egypt witnessed a huge wave of violence especially against churches and Christian owned shops and houses especially in Upper Egypt. Nearly 64 churches including historical churches were torched and vandalized to the level of complete destruction
The government then specifically the Egyptian armed forces announced that it would rebuild all the destroyed and torched Churches before the Christian feasts last August. Well Christmas passed , Easter passed and we are commemorating Rabaa dispersal  first anniversary and most of the Churches were not touched. 
It turns out the army made 3 stages plans to reconstruct the churches and monasteries that would end by July 2015.  According to Christian activists there is a delay in the current stage.
EIPR’s researcher Ishak Ibrahim reminded us on the past two days with some of those churches in Fayoum , Ismailia, Giza , Minya , Suez , Bani Sawif and Assuit
Reuter’s Aswat Masriya also made a report about the Greek Church in Suez.
I remember that no one was really surprised for this to happen after weeks and weeks of incitement against Christians on Pro-Morsi Islamist TV channels and Raba’a sit in’s main stage.
Yes Raba’a sit in was not a true utopia like the Pro-Morsi supporters especially from Muslim Brotherhood. For weeks since the start of the sit in and the main stage in Raba’a square was broadcasting an awful racist attack against Christians claiming that the Orthodox Church was behind the coup..etc.
Unfortunately up till this moment the Muslim Brotherhood members refuse to admit that there was huge incitement and hatred towards Christians in their discourse.
Needless to say because of that discourse and because what happened to those Churches , many Christians find no problem in military rule as long as they keep those Islamists who can not stomach them. “That feeling was doubled by the barbaric conquests of IS in Iraq and Syria”
BY the way I remember Christians in Upper Egypt especially in Minya stated that many of those who attacked the Churches were well known thugs to everybody and up till now there has not been no serious investigations regarding those attacks. Yes up till now there has been no serious official investigation on who attacked those churches for real.
I remember also that there were many pleas to secure churches. My late dear Friend Bassem Sabry even asked on 14 August 2013 why the security forces did not have a plan to secure churches in the same way they had a plan to disperse the sit in.

It is worth to mention that after those attacks against churches for days , the Egyptian armed forces organized a trip for foreign correspondents to the locations of those churches last August as a proof on the terrorism and barbarism of Islamists. It was obvious that the regime used those attacks for its own publicity and as usual it did not really care for the people. I am not surprised to be honest and actually I expected this to happen.
The Current regime is only using Christians to communicate with the West and send messages to it when it wants I am afraid just like in time of Mubarak , they are following the same technique.
It is worth to mention that after one year of getting rid from that awful Muslim Brotherhood , Christian families are forced to leave to their homes when a fight breaks between a Christian and a Muslim or when Muslim and Christian teenagers fall in love.
After one year of getting rid of the so-called Islamist Muslim Brotherhood rule , sectarian fights and tensions are solved in traditional judicial council in rural areas under the supervision of the state. This also happens when we have a new constitution that champions citizenships rights.
By the way the attacks on the Churches are mentioned in the famous Human rights Watch in page 104.
If you are interested to know more about the story of the torched churches in Egypt after Rabaa dispersal and its updates I recommend you speak to EIPR researcher Ishak Ibrahim.

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