Angry Muslim Mob Kills Young Christian and Wounds Three Others

 
 
Latest Attack Comes, Again, After Rumors Spread of Christian-Owned Property Being Turned into a Church in Minya, Egypt
07/20/2016 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on July 17, 2016, a mob of radical Muslims killed a Christian man named Pham Khalaf, 27, and injured three other Copts in an attack against Christians in Tahna Al-Gabal village in the Minya province. The assault occurred after rumors circulated that a new Christian-owned building would be turned into a church.
This is the third time in two weeks that Christians have been attacked due to suspicion of church construction. On June 30 and on July 15, Coptic homes were looted and destroyed by Muslim mobs who were driven to violence by similar rumors.
The July 17 attack began one day earlier as Muslim villagers watched Fr. Metaos Naguid Hanna, priest of Mar Mina Coptic Orthodox church in Tahna Al-Gabal, enter into a new building in the western part of the village. This led the Muslim onlookers to believe that the building would be turned into a church.
The attack unfolded the following day after a group of young Muslim men attacked Fr. Metaos’ 8-year-old son, Mikhail, outside of his house. After rushing out to attend to his grandson, Naguib Hanna, 80, began reprimanding the Muslim men. Naguib was joined by some Coptic neighbors when the Muslim men began attacking them with clubs and knives.
“In less than a minute, more than 100 Muslims joined and began to fight with Copts, indicating that the attack was organized,” A Christian resident told ICC, “Pham Mari Khalaf was killed in the attack due to a stab to the heart, while Naguib Hanna, father of R. Metaos, was stabbed several times in the face.”
In all, one Christian was killed and three more were wounded in the attack. Police did not arrive until two hours after the initial attack, though they were called at the start. Naguib Hanna and his son-in-law Malak Aziz Hanna were hospitalized at the Good Shephard Hospital with critical injuries. Both are now in stable condition.
On Monday, July 18, the Bishop of the Minya Diocese and another eight priests held a prayer service in honor of martyred Pham Khalan. During the funeral and after, thousands of Christians in the village sang out, “With our blood we will redeem you, Cross.” Their shouts of praise and worship nearly shook the walls of the building, according to those who attended the event.

Sandra Elliot, ICC’s Program Coordinator, said, “After two attacks in one weekend, ICC weeps for the Christian communities in Minya. This terror cannot continue unabated. Suspicion of church construction should not incite the killing of innocent men. There are no words for this tragedy and the total injustice on the side of apathetic and unresponsive security forces in Egypt. It is a travesty that the police authorities continually ignore these attacks. Egypt must do more to secure the lives and properties of all its citizens, including and especially Christians.”

For interviews with Sandra Elliot, Program Coordinator, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

 

Your Egyptian family is under attack – for daring to build churches   Violent mobs in some parts of Egypt are being allowed to attack our Christian family and their homes – and walk away scot-free.   Please pray for friends and relatives of Fam Mary Khalaf, a 27-year-old stabbed to death by a mob on Sunday. There have been three incidents of anti-Christian riots in Egypt in the past month – all apparently triggered by rumours of new churches being built.   Three other Christians were seriously injured by the same mob that killed Fam in Tahana El-Gabal village on Sunday. The attack began when local Muslims threatened to kill a young Christian boy whose father is a pastor.   Two days earlier, in Abu Yacoub village, a mob attacked Christians and set fire to five houses. The attack lasted several hours: firefighters arrived long after the homes were destroyed.   Similar riots were reported in Kom El Loofy village, Minya, and in Amriya, south of Alexandria, last month. Meanwhile, in Luxor, a suspicious fire gutted the Church of the Archangel Michael in Al-Madamoud on Saturday.   Egyptian Christians are concerned that, even if proposed laws allow them greater freedom to construct church buildings, hardline Muslims will not respect the law.

  • Pray that God’s people in Egypt will know that He leads them by the hand and promises to help them (Isaiah 41:13).
  • Ask God to comfort Fam Mary Khalaf’s family and heal his injured friends.
  • Pray that justice will be done and that hardliners will no longer be able to attack Christians with impunity.

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You are free to disseminate this news story. We request that you reference International Christian Concern (ICC) and include our web address, www.persecution.org. ICC is a Washington D.C.-based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church
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