On Friday, March 12, Muslim extremists attacked a church and community center in Marsa Matruh and injured 28 Coptic Orthodox Christians, some critically. According to Egyptian officials, the cause of the attack was the assailant’s anger over a new fence that was erected around the center. The assailants mistakenly believed that construction workers were building a new church, not a simple fence around the center.
The following audio files contain firsthand witness accounts of this most recent attack against Coptic Christians in Egypt:
Witness Account #1
Witness Account #2 from the Hospital
Account from Abouna Matta
The attack on Copts in Marsa Matruh took place the same day the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a statement condemning the Egyptian justice system for not prosecuting violence against Copts.
Coptic Christians, who constitute at least 10 percent of Egypt’s population, are discriminated against in all aspects of social life, from education to government representation. They also suffer injustice under the law that requires them to have high-level government permission in order to repair or rebuild churches. Even though they make such requests for permission, Christians are rarely, if ever, granted the right to repair or build churches. Muslims, however, are allowed to freely build mosques without such government permission.
|Witness Account||14.2 MB|
|Witness Account 2||6.2 MB|