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Temporary church in Minya set on fire by extremists: Church administrators

Ahram Online , Friday 13 May 2016
Amir Tadros coptic Orthodox Church
File photo of the Amir Tadros coptic Orthodox Church in Minya, some 250 kms south of Cairo, which was set ablaze on August 14, 2013 (AFP)

Local church administrators in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya said that "extremists" set on fire a temporary church in the village of Ismailia on Thursday.

"Some extremists set fire to the church, which is considered a temporary site for prayers," read a statement released by Minya's church managing board on Friday.

The statement said that the building had been in operation as a place for prayers for a year, with the permission of the authorities. The original church has been closed since 2009 for security reasons.

"We're currently contacting security authorities to avoid any tensions that could take place between Muslim and Christian residents, especially as they have good relations between each other," the board said.

Since the 2011 revolution, many churches have been attacked or vandalised, with dozens of attacks in August 2013. Minya, which is home to a large number of Christian Egyptians, was a hotspot for church attacks.

Since August 2014, the Egyptian armed forces have sponsored the restoration of the damaged churches.

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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