Egypt -- Thousands of Muslims, who were angered by Copts celebrating mass in the Zagazig Diocese's Hospitality Hall on 10th December, gathered in the village of Kafr Farag Guirgis, in an attempt to attack the building. The Muslim mob, which also included those from nearby villages, was armed with fire balls and gasoline bottles. The security forces had to intervene to contain the situation -- they closed the building and are still surrounding it.
The more than 1300 Copts living in the village and who make up for more than 50% of the total inhabitants have no church to pray in, while the Muslims have four mosques. For over 12 years the Copts were celebrating mass in a place of around 100 square meters with no water or amenities. As the roof of that place became unsafe, they went to celebrate mass in the hall of the nearby newly built building for social services and hospitality, belonging to the Diocese of Zagazig. This angered the Muslims.
A church deacon who was present during the incident told 'Coptic News' that the people in the building did not want to leave the place and he added: "Our Coptic Church was built with the blood of martyrs, and we were ready to stay inside the building and be killed, however, we received orders from higher Church authorities to evacuate the place."
Coptic lawyer Ashraf Edward said that it is now imperative to pass the law for the 'Uniformity of the Construction of Places of Worship' which has been pending for the last sixteen years. He said that a group of Coptic lawyers and himself are now looking into the matter of this pending law from a legal perspective, and that it is now time for action, and not for words.
It is worth noting that a similar incident happened on 23rd November when over 20,000 armed Muslims besieged 1000 Copts praying in the Church of the Virgin Mary in West Ain Shams, Cairo (watch video).