Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Monk, workers shot in attack on monastery in Egypt

Pray for those attacked at an
Egyptian monastery last week.
One monk and six church workers were shot and wounded last week when the Egyptian Army attacked a Coptic Orthodox monastery in order to destroy a wall monks had built to defend their property from raiders, sources told Compass Direct News.

The attack with small arms, heavy machine guns and armoured personnel carriers happened February 23 at the Anba Bishoy Monastery in Wadi Al-Natroun, 110 kilometres north of Cairo. The soldiers used armoured personnel carriers to bulldoze the wall, sources said, as the monks sang a prayer in unison, declaring, “God is merciful.” A monk who witnessed the attack said on condition of anonymity that the scene resembled “a war zone.”

As of yesterday, seven people remained in the Anglo American Hospital in Cairo, two of them in critical condition.

The attack took place in the wake of the political riots that swept through Egypt beginning January 25, culminating in the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak on February 11.

As security diminished, the Anba Bishoy Monastery had come under increasing attacks from raiders and criminals set free from prisons. The military had denied a request for protection from the monks, who then built a brick wall with a metal gate to control access. The army later claimed the monastery had not acquired the proper permits and issued a deadline for the wall to be torn down.

The monks refused to demolish the wall, and the army moved in. The attack followed other anti-Christian incidents throughout Egypt.

You can read the full report here.

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