Barnabas Fund, 6 July 2022
A mob of Muslim extremists attacked a church and the homes of Christians in Luxor, Egypt on 23 June, after the church was granted an official licence.
The church in al-Halla village was among 239 churches registered in April by a government committee. On the morning of the attack the Interior Ministry stationed guards outside the church, a standard government procedure at licensed churches across the country to ensure their security.
Local Christians said the licensing of the church and the appearance of the guards enraged Muslim extremists and a large crowd gathered, including Muslims from outside the village, shouting anti-Christian slogans.
The mob went on to attack the church and throw stones at the homes of Christians. Several vehicles and motorbikes owned by Christians were set on fire. “We kept to our homes for safety’s sake,” said a Christian. “This led to no casualties.”
Police were sent to the scene and helped the Interior Ministry guards to bring the situation under control.
“We have been worshipping at our church since 2003 without any problems,” explained a Christian. “The village Muslims were well aware of it and no one ever objected. “Now that the church has been legalised, the fundamentalists among them were furious.”
Christians say that their situation in Muslim-majority Egypt is now better than it has been in living memory.