Church land in Shubra briefly occupied by Salafists: Coptic bishop
Ahram Online , Tuesday 6 Nov 2012
Group of Salafists temporarily commandeer church land in Shubra Al-Kheima, attempt to found new mosque, Coptic bishop alleges

A group of Salafist Muslims on Monday occupied a parcel of land owned by Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo's Shubra Al-Kheima district, hung a sign bearing the words 'Al-Rahma Mosque' and performed Islamic prayers for some 24 hours, Bishop Morcos, Coptic Bishop of Shubra Al-Kheima, told Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website on Tuesday.

According to Marcos, church authorities informed the interior ministry, prompting the Salafists to leave the scene early on Tuesday.

"Copts wanted toreact to the incident, but I prevented them from doing so," Bishop Morcos was quoted as saying."But I won't be able to hold them back from reacting forever."

Church officials are reportedly now in the process of removing the 'Al-Rahma Mosque' banner.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Egypt's Maspero Copts Youth United movement denounced the incident, attributing it to the state's failure to respond to earlier incidents of sectarian violence, including the burning of Christian churches that happened in the wake of last year's Tahrir Square uprising.

Egypt's Copts, estimated at between 10 and 15 per cent of the total national population, have long demanded legislation allowing them to build churches similar to the laws governing the construction of mosques.

Egypt's new Coptic Pope Tawadros II, elected on Sunday, is expected to work towards achieving this end.