Violence Against Copts

Egyptian police must act more quickly against Muslim rioters, a Catholic bishop said after 12 people were killed and two churches burned in Cairo during a night of violence on May 7. Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina of Giza said Egypt would descend into anarchy if such outbreaks were allowed to go unpunished. “Without action from the police and the army, it will be chaos, complete anarchy,” the bishop said. The bishop added: “We cannot make peace and reconciliation without first bringing people to justice. Otherwise, the reconciliation is just theater, and the problems will remain.” Bishop Mina’s remarks followed violence triggered by rumors that a Christian woman who wanted to convert to Islam was being held against her will in the Orthodox Church of St. Mina in the Cairo suburb of Imbaba. A mob formed, encouraged by Salafis, an ultraconservative Islamic sect. In the ensuing violence, seven Christians and five Muslims were killed, and more than 200 others—the vast majority of them Christians—were injured.

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