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Security facilitates reconciliation between Muslims and Christians in Beni Suef village

Christians were attacked over a rumour that a church was being constructed without authorisation

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Jul 2016
Bani Sawif
Head of Bani Sawif security directorate in the village on Saturday (Photo:Ahram Arabic news website)
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Beni Suef security directorate facilitated a reconciliation between Muslims and Christians in a village in the Upper Egyptian governorate after Christians were attacked there on Friday, Al-Ahram Arabic reported on Saturday.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic, the security forces managed to control the situation, which was caused by a rumour that a church was being constructed, before it deteriorated.

On Friday, a group of Muslims in a small village in Beni Suef gathered after noon prayers, and went to the houses owned by Christians attacking them by rocks, after a rumour spread that one of the buildings had been turned into a church.

A video clip showing Christian families reacting to the attack while standing at their balconies went viral on Friday in Egypt.

The head of the local security directorate reportedly sat with the elders from the village, both Muslims and Christians, and they agreed on reconciliation and that the Christians would not turn a house into a church unless they received official authorisation.  

This is the most recent sectarian incident involving Muslims and Christians in the past four weeks in Upper Egypt.

At least three clashes have erupted in different villages in Minya governorate between Muslims and Christians recently.

Sectarian clashes frequently occur in the countryside over news or rumours that an unauthorised church has been built or repurposed.

A draft unified law for building houses of worship is expected to be discussed by the House of Representatives.  

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 90 million and constitute the Middle East's largest Christian community.

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