- Middle East/North Africa
Dozens of Copts marched Sunday from Shubra Square to the High Court complex in downtown Cairo to protest the attack on Mar Girgis Church in Fayoum, video broadcast on Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr showed.
Participants in the march, attended by some political movements and Muslim protesters, carried banners expressing solidarity between Copts and Muslims, and blaming the Interior Ministry for failing to protect the church.
“We are sick of reconciliation meetings, extremist religious fatwas and collusion on the part of the regime,” said Andraous Qweyda, coordinator of the Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic activist group, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
An angry Muslim mob attacked the church Friday, and parts of it were burned.
Witnesses said the attack came after a Muslim family living close to the church rejected the construction of a new building attached to the church, saying it bothered them.
Police invited Muslim and Coptic figures in the area to an “urfi” dialogue session, and police later announced that the problem had been solved.
But Qweyda said Copts were “fed up” with such sessions, which he said do not give Copts their rights.
The country’s Copts form the Middle East’s largest Christian community. Islamists’ political gains in the country after President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster have caused many Copts — who have long voiced frustration about discrimination — to worry about their future.