(AINA) -- Mohammad Mostafa Kamel, a Muslim prosecutor at the Alexandria Criminal Court, and his two sons, aided by some hired Muslims, broke into the church of the St. Mary in Rashid at 4 PM today and demolished a great part of its alter. They came to the church with front loaders.
Kamel had no demolition order.
His fight with the church goes back to 2009 when he tried to take ownership of the church, claiming that he bought the ancient church, which dates back to the 9th century, from the Greek Orthodox Church. But it was the Coptic church who bought after it was up for sale due to the dwindling number of Greeks in Rashid, which is located 65 km (40 mi) east of Alexandria, in Beheira governorate.
Father Maximos of St. Mary's Church said that he rushed to the police station with Father Luke Asaad and their lawyer to try to bring the police to help. In the police station the prosecutor and his two sons threatened to kill the two priest and their lawyer. A police report was filed regarding those threats.
"We stayed at the police station for over six hours with the police begging prosecutor Kamel and his two sons not to demolish the church," said father Maximos, "In spite of them not having a demolition order."
Father Luke said that the prosecutor had lost all the cases he brought to court against the church, "So when this route failed, he tried taking the matter into his own hands."
The police confiscated the loader but refused to take legal action against him because he is a prosecutor.
In the attack of 2009, the prosecutor, his sons and their aids demolished the church fence and injured the church guard.
By Mary Abdelmassih