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Barnabas Update – February 28th 2019

Egyptian Christians hold third funeral on streets

Barnabas Fund, 19 February 2019

Christians in Egypt were forced to hold a third funeral on the streets of their village, Koum al-Raheb, because their church building was sealed by police on 9 December 2018.

Hundreds of Christian mourners, and some Muslim neighbours, held the service on a road in the village.

Members of the 2,500-strong Christian community were celebrating the opening of their new, unlicensed church on 9 December when police arrived to shut it.

Though persuaded to wait until the funeral service ended before confiscating the church keys, the police next day cut off the church’s electricity and water supplies while Christians stood in prayer outside the four-storey building.

The Christians’ homes also came under attack by Muslim villagers throwing stones and thumping windows. One Christian eye-witness described this as orchestrated violence, incited by Muslim fundamentalists using the microphone and speaker system of the village mosque.