A Christian charity and watchdog group reported Coptic Christians in Egypt have become the latest victims of radical Islamists.
According to International Christian Concern (ICC), the village of Manshiet El-Naghamish was attacked by Islamists who were enraged at news of a new Christian church being built.
The attack occurred late November and resulted in a destroyed Christian guesthouse and 9 Christian homes.
Four Christian-owned shops were damaged and four believers were injured.
Samir Nashed, a Christian in El-Naghamish, told ICC: “On Friday [at] noon, November 25, following the Muslim prayers, a great deal of fanatic Muslim young men, some of them were carrying gas canisters and rocks while others came armed with automatic rifles, clubs, machetes and knives, they attacked Copts and Coptic-owned houses.
“The attackers cut [off] the road so that the fire trucks could not enter the village; they also cut off the water and power supply to the village.”
Local Muslims heard a rumor that a new 4-story building in the village would become a Christian church, prompting the attack.
The nearest Christian church is three miles from El-Naghamish and Christians have asked on several occasions for permission to build a church in the village but the Egyptian government has yet to approve.
The village is home to a majority of Muslims while only 2,000 residents are Coptic Christians.
ICC claimed there have been several drawbacks to attempts of reconciliation between the village’s Christians and Muslims, including arrests and violent protests.
“ICC mourns with the families who have lost their homes and businesses due to these hate crimes,” ICC’s Regional Manager, William Stark, stated.
“This is the latest in a long string of similar attacks, and we are impatient to see proper justice served. The Egyptian government must do more to secure the lives and properties of all citizens, including Christians.”