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Egyptian priest jailed after mob attacks his church comment (0)

March 22, 2012

ASWAN, Egypt — A priest in Egypt was sentenced to six months in jail for a minor construction violation at his church building, while no one in a mob that burned the same structure down has been arrested. 

Pastor Makarious Bolous of the Mar Gerges Church in Aswan was sentenced March 4. Bolous said the ruling, coupled with the absence of prosecution against those who burned down the church building, is clear evidence of persecution and a legal double standard between Christians and Muslims. 

The lower court that made the ruling also fined Bolous $50. He remained free March 6 awaiting appeal. Local government officials said the building was 2.5 meters taller than what they had approved on a series of architectural drawings for the church building. On Sept. 30, 2011, some 3,000 villagers set fire to and then demolished the Mar Gerges building and razed four nearby homes and two businesses, all Christian-owned. 

The tension in El Marenab village began the last week of August, when Muslim extremists voiced anger over the renovations at Mar Gerges. On Oct. 9, thousands of people marched through the streets of Cairo in protest over that and other attacks on Christians, a demonstration that turned into a blood bath after counter-protestors opened fire and soldiers ran over protestors with riot-control vehicles. Of the 27 people killed, at least 23 were Christians.

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