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Christians in Egypt fearful after five Copts killedcomment (0)

July 18, 2013

Christians in upper Egypt and elsewhere are living in fear after a priest and four Coptic Christians were killed in the wake of the deposing of Mohamed Morsi as president.

 “I am too scared to leave — I haven’t been able to go outside my house for four days,” said Maria, a Coptic woman in her 30s who attends the Church of the Virgin Mary in Luxor, which Salafist mobs have attacked unsuccessfully several times since June 30. 

On July 5, Islamists attacked Coptic Christian Emil Naseem Saroufeem, 42. For reasons that remain unknown, they blamed Saroufeem for the death of Hassan Sayyed Segdy, a Muslim whose body had been found earlier that day, according to a human rights worker and other sources. Saroufeem was known to be a supporter of the Tamard or “Rebel” movement that began gathering in cities across Egypt on June 30 to demonstrate against Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party, created by the Muslim Brotherhood.

 A mob formed and began beating Saroufeem, who escaped briefly when two relatives, Mouhareb Noushy Habib, 38, and Romany Noushy, 33, hid him, according to Safwat Samaan, a director at human rights group Nation Without Limits. The rabble caught up with the three Christians in the apartment of Rasem Tawadrous Aqladios, 56. Saroufeem and Aqladios were bludgeoned to death. The other two, Habib and Noushy, died when they were beaten and repeatedly stabbed.

The assailants then turned their attention to other Coptic villagers, beating many of them and then looting and burning down their homes. Three other Copts were seriously wounded.

In all, roughly 20 homes were destroyed. The village is calm now, but most of the Christian residents have left and are homeless because they are too afraid to return or have no homes to return to.

In Qena and Luxor in upper Egypt, scattered attempts to attack churches took place over the weekend with little success. At the Church of the Virgin Mary and the Church of the Archangel Michael, both in Luxor, soldiers pushed away several such Islamist attempts.

The last attack happened July 6 in the town of Arish in Northern Sinai, when masked gunmen shot and killed Coptic priest Mina Aboud Sharubim in front of a church-owned building, according to the Coptic Watani Weekly. No reason has been given for the attack.

 The 39-year-old Sharubim was buried July 8 after a service in Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo. He had been ordained more than a year ago. 

(Morning Star News)

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