A new accident against Christian citizens in al-Minya province.
Bishop Macarious of the southern Minya governorate says the mob attacked the families of two priests with knives and batons in the village of Tahna al-Gabal late Sunday. Fam Khalaf, 27, was killed and the father of one of the priests was wounded, reported the Associated Press.
An eyewitness, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that a quarrel erupted outside the house of Metaos Najib Hanna, a priest in the province’s Tahna al-Jabal village, “after two Muslim youths insulted the priest’s son (7 years old) while he was playing outside the house.”
When the child’s grandfather objected, the two Muslim youths started to attack him, as well as his Christian neighbors who expressed their support for him, which resulted in the death of a 27-year-old Christian neighbor of the priest, according to the eyewitness.
The priest’s father and his son-in-law, in addition to a female Christian neighbor, were injured, the eyewitness added.
Egyptian officials said that a Muslim mob stabbed a Coptic Christian to death over a personal feud.
Police confirmed the incident and said they arrested four people.
Christian residents rallied at a local church for prayers for the dead and protested against targeting Christians.
Violence against Christians has escalated in Egypt recently, an unexpected phenomena after they backed the military coup leader Abel Fattah al-Sisi in the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi. They also backed and supported al-Sisi in the presidential elections that brought him to power in 2014. But unfortunately, the Copts didn’t find their hope fulfilled in return for their great favor under the secular military rule.
A series of attacks against Christians in Egypt escalated during last month.
An Orthodox Christian nun from Mar Girgis Monastery in Old Cairo was killed on 5 July, after reportedly being hit by a stray bullet on the Cairo-Alexandria Highway. Following the incident, a man and his son were also killed in what was described as a “revenge attack”.
Moreover, Rafael Moussa, a Coptic Orthodox priest of the church of St. George, was murdered in Al Arish, a coastal city in North Sinai. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the murder, describing Moussa as a “disbelieving combatant.”
ISIS has previously claimed responsibility for the beheading of 21 Christian Egyptians working in Libya in February 2015.
In late May, a 70-year-old Christian woman was allegedly stripped naked by a mob of Muslim citizens in her village in the conservative southern province of al-Minya. The alleged assault was provoked by rumors that the woman’s son was involved in a love affair with a Muslim woman. However, the incident was later denied by the woman’s neighbors, the mayor of the village, and the city’s member of parliament.
Sectarian violence occasionally erupts between Muslims and Christians mainly in rural communities in Upper Egypt.