Sunday, February 12, 2006

The hostile attitude of the Egyptian Security System against the Coptic Bishopric of Luxor

The Bishopric of Luxor, Esna & Armant is located about 350 miles south of Cairo. It is taken here as an example of the abuse that befalls the Copts on the hands of the Egyptian security and police systems.

The Bishopric of Luxor, Esna and Armant contains many churches. The Bishopric includes seven of these churches that were open prior to 1947. In that year H.G. the late Bishop Basilios, once the Bishop of Luxor, Esna & Aswan, departed. This was in the reign of H.H. the late Pope Yusab, the 115th Patriarch of the Alexandrian See of Saint Mark. Before the 1952 revolution, these seven churches were open for regular prayer. However, they were shut down by the Egyptian police during the bishopric of H.G. Bishop Amonios under the pretext of illegality, in spite of the fact that all seven churches did have legal papers since before the 1952 revolution. All legal papers were in the hands of the bishops who departed before the revolution, as well as with Andrawes Pasha who also departed before the revolution. The Luxor, Esna & Armant Bishopric has been appealing in vain to the Egyptian government for the reopening of these seven churches.

Examples of the problems that face Christian worship places in the Bishopric of Luxor, Esna & Armant:
1. The Church of the Virgin Saint Mary in El Bayadeya:
This church is very old, and elders still remember that H.G. the late Bishop Basilios celebrated liturgy in it. This church used to serve the city of El Bayadeya, as well as the towns of El Hagger, Ezbet Mina, Rawag, El Gebeyl, and El Boghdady. The church was shut down in 1986, days before the feast of the Holy Resurrection (Easter). The hall that belongs to the church was set to fire in 1989.
2. The Church of Archangel Michael in El Akalta:
This church used to serve the Christians of the towns of El Akalta, El Gezira, El Karna, El Ezba, and Nag' El Gesr. The church was shut down on the day of the Nativity Feast (Christmas) in 1995. This church is mentioned in the historical records of the History of the Coptic Church by Iris Habib El Masry, Volume 6.
3. The Church of the Virgin Saint Mary in Asfon, Esna:
This church used to serve about 800 families, and the closest church to it is that of the monastery of Saint Mettaos El Fakhoury. The church was shut down in the order of president Anwar El Sadat, president of the republic, in 1981.
4. The Church of the Tombs of Saint Georges' Monastery in El Rozaykat, Armant:
A court order has been issued to reopen the church, but the Egyptian Security still refuses to abide by that order.
5. The Church of Saint Dolaggy and her Children in Esna:
This church dates back to the fourth century, and is an endangered monument that some fanatics would like to see destroyed.
6. The Monastery of the Martyrs in Esna:
The walls of the Monastery are causing a problem to the Egyptian Security (!!!) The monks of the monastery still don't quite grasp what angers the Egyptian government in the walls of a peaceful monastery!
7. The Monastery of Saint Theodoros the Fighter west of Luxor:
This Monastery is a nuns' monastery whose walls were destroyed by rain and floodings. The Egyptian Security and the Egyptian Police are banning the reconstruction of the walls and are even preventing fresh water from reaching the monastery.
8. The Monastery of Saint Pachomios near Luxor:
A court decree was issued, which allows the monastery to build a gate for protection. Yet, the Egyptian Police objected and prevented the monastery from having a gate for "security reasons"!!!

After exposing these scandals that we brought to your attention as examples for what faces the Copts in Egypt, we find ourselves unable to carry on writing, for what is happening is dazzling! The wounds of Christians of yet another village in Luxor, El Udaysat, are still healing after the January 19th 2006 massacre they were subject to by the hands of Mulims and Egyptian security forces for having tried to reopen the closed church in their village. Two Copts were murdered in these incidents where, as usual, the Egyptian police sided with the Muslims in attacking, beating, and killing the Copts.
* Click here for the Arabic version


At 7:42 AM , Anonymous Peter said...

The practices of Egyptian state (national) security is worse than Saddam's Baathist regime. once again, where are Human Rights activists around the world from what's happening against Copts? don't they have anyone to spare? or are they all busy fighting for guantanamo inmates?

At 12:00 PM , Blogger Egypeter said...

A call to anyone with a soul, inside and outside of Egypt, to join in the battle of Islamic Fanaticism. Equal laws regarding building of places of worship has got to be implemented! Enough already.


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