The attack was reportedly sparked by an August 6 argument between a Muslim man and a Coptic Christian woman. The nature of the argument could not be confirmed, but several Christian men allegedly came to the aid of the woman, ending the dispute.
Several hours later, a group of Muslims arrived at the village church and started pelting congregants with rocks as they left the building. The Christians responded in kind. Several people suffered cuts and bruises, and some of the windows of the church building were broken.
The next day, Muslims armed with long swords and guns then rampaged through the community, looting and burning several homes and businesses belonging to Christians. At least eight homes were torched to the ground. A Christian farmer, Maher Nassif, 46, was killed when he tried to defend his home. The men then looted the home and stole Maher's livestock as his teenage son, who witnessed the attack, escaped into the night. The violence raged on until the next morning.
According to villagers, tension between Muslims and Christians has intensified in the country since the revolution earlier this year. One local Christian blamed worsened relations on the increased radicalization of certain Muslims in Egypt who want to "complete their faith by killing Christians."
You can help by praying!
- Pray the Christians in this region will not be ruled by fear but trust in Christ (1 Peter 3:14-15).
- Pray those who mourn for Maher will find comfort in the fact that Christ has triumphed over death and that those who die in the Lord will be raised with Him (1 Corinthians 15:50-58).
- Ask God to equip Egyptian Christians to demonstrate His peace and grace, even to those who target them for their faith.