Contact: Ihab Aziz, Executive Director, Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA), 703-337-5217, [email protected]
MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 24 /Christian Newswire/ -- As of Saturday, November 21, 2009 the Egyptian town of Farshoot, located 300 miles south of Cairo, and the neighboring villages of Kom Ahmar, Shakiki and Ezbet Waziri, have been the scenes of massive Muslim mob attacks against Coptic Christian inhabitants. The mob looted, vandalized and burnt Coptic properties estimated for six million Egyptian pounds (over one million dollars), while Copts are still hiding indoors fearing for their lives. There are reports that many Copts were attacked and injured. According to many eye witnesses, the mob made wooden crosses and burnt them in the streets while shouting "Allah Akbar."
Victims and eye witnesses said that nearly 3000 angry Muslims have been damaging and looting at least 50 shops all owned by Christians, including jewelry stores and pharmacies, over a claim that a 20 year old Christian man, now in custody, had a relationship with a 12 year old Muslim girl. Coptic priest Rev. Benjamin Noshi was attacked and is now hospitalized as a result of a fracture in his skull. His car was damaged by the Muslim mob. By the evening most Coptic businesses were looted and burnt and many Coptic Christian families were thrown out of their homes by other Muslim residents.
Farshout's Bishop, Kirollos, said the attacks were definitely preplanned and suggested that the principal of an Islamic Institute in Farshoot motivated his students to attack the Christians. He also pointed out to the shameful role of the security forces, which disappeared without giving proper justifications or making any arrests, despite several demands by the victims to put an end to the organized attacks against the Copts.
In the early hours of Monday, November 23, 2009 three additional Christian-owned businesses were looted and burnt in the village of "Abu Shousha" located 15 miles away of Farshout. New attacks were taking place Monday night in Al-Arky village seven miles away.
It has become clear that the organized violence is spreading out to more villages only to target the Christian lives and businesses while the Police continue to watch. The last 90 days witnessed at least seven similar attacks on Christian villages, where at least five Copts were killed, many Coptic girls and women were abducted and forced to embrace Islam with the assistance of the Egyptian authorities.
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA) pleads to the American and International Rights Organizations to demand the Egyptian government to take immediate measures to protect the Christian lives and properties of the persecuted Copts in Farshout, Egypt (Copts are about 18 million Christians - The largest Christian minority in the Middle East).
For more information, please contact CAFA at [email protected] or Call: 703.337.5217
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA)
Coptic American Friendship Association (CAFA) is a non-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization based in the greater Washington, DC area since 1996. CAFA advocates on behalf of the persecuted Christians in Egypt and the Middle East.