Violence by Morsi supporters leaves dozens of Christian churches, Coptic-owned businesses and properties burnt; fears grow among Egypt’s Christian minority of widespread sectarian strife
CAIRO: Churches across Egypt came under frenzied attack Thursday as the country became convulsed in violent turmoil after security forces forcibly broke up two major Cairo protest camps held by supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
Incensed by the bloody crackdown that has claimed more than 500 lives, Morsi loyalists orchestrated nationwide assaults on Christian targets, wreaking havoc on churches, homes, and Christian-owned businesses throughout the country.
Coptic rights group the Maspero Youth Union (MYU) estimated that as many as 36 churches were “completely” devastated by fire across nine Egyptian governorates, including Minya, Sohag and Assiut — home to large Coptic communities.
The group, alongside media reports, said that many other churches were looted or stormed in ensuing street violence Wednesday.
Egypt’s interior ministry told reporters in Cairo Wednesday that at least seven churches had been vandalised or torched by suspected Islamists.