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Gutted Church Building Leaves Egyptian Copts With Debt

  • Religion Today
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2012 Jun 15
  • Comments

A hasty, inadequate renovation of a church building that Salafi Muslims largely gutted a year ago has left the congregation with staggering debt from additional repairs, Compass Direct News reports. On May 7, 2011, at least 12 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded when members of the hard-line Islamic movement attacked at least two churches and surrounding Christian-owned homes and businesses in a poor section of Cairo. Salafis then set fire to the Virgin Mary building of the Coptic Orthodox Church after a rumor spread that a Coptic woman who had allegedly converted to Islam was being held inside the building against her will. Alfons Ghatas, a deacon at the church, said the construction company the government hired, Arab Contractors, worked around the clock on the project, but that their materials and workmanship were inferior. The Rev. Sarabamoun Abdo, elder priest of the church, said the congregation still owes 350,000 Egyptian pounds (US $57,760) to the second set of contractors required for additional renovations.