UK Coptic Association

PO Box 7969,                                                                        Knowle,

Solihull, B94 6PY                                                                   UK

Tel +44 1564 782546

E.mail h.guirguis@btinternet.com                                                               www.copts.co.uk

 

9th December 2004

 

Honorary President: Lord David Alton

 

 

Press Release

 

For immediate release

 

On the 3rd of December 2004 at about 7pm, large number of Muslim fundamentalist attacked Christian properties in Mankateen village, Minya district in Upper Egypt after cutting off power supply. The mob is estimated at about 5000 men attacked two Chemist shops belong to Dr Reda Morgan and Dr Osama Ghali, one chemist shop was burnt down, 3 grocery shops belong to Tawadros Azer, Youssef Makhali, Nemr Tadross were looted and then destroyed, also two private cars were smashed and badly damaged belonging to Thabet Kostor and Dr Malak Makram, Thabet Kostor’s car was set a light. Several Copts homes were damaged by the Muslim fundamentalist mob as well as agricultural equipments, women and children were severely beaten.

 

The attack seems to have been well organised, most of the perpetrators come from outside the village which makes recognition very difficult; the perpetrators conducted their meetings in “El-Gameeiah El-Sharee’iah”, a well known Islamic fundamentalist centre. The police when arrived about one hour later arrested large number of young people mainly teenagers who were not active perpetrators.

 

Also in Assiut province, Upper Egypt where a sizable Christian minority live, Mohammed Abdel-Mohsen Saleh the local Representative of The National Democratic Party, was found abusing his official position in the government party which he occupied for 25 years, in collaboration with the local police who arrested, threatened and coerced local Christians to convert to Islam by using devious means of fabricating evidence, arresting and charging over 20 local Christians and offering them pardon if they convert to Islam otherwise they have to face legal sequences which is usually imprisonment for crimes they never committed who under duress converted to Islam but later complained to the local priest.

 

UK Coptic Association witnessing the extreme hardship and organised persecution the Christians of Egypt are facing, ranging from restriction on building churches to depriving Christians from promotion to higher government position to outright insults, abuse and cursing their religion Christians are facing in the streets on daily basis, is the responsibility of the Egyptian government who by appeasing and encouraging Islamic fundamentalism, Egypt has become a breeding ground for fundamentalists and terrorists.

 

UK Coptic Association demands that the Egyptian government takes real steps in providing security and protection to its Christian citizens, curb the rise in Islamic fundamentalism and treat all Egyptians equally

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Dr Helmy Guirguis MD, President