Egypt: Attacks on Churches Continue Amidst Nationwide Violence


The list below sums up continuing sectarian violence nationwide for Friday, August 16. I have started to collect images separately in a dedicated gallery. This is an ongoing work, so please ping us on Twitter (myself or @moftasa) or leave a comment below to let me know if I have missed something or if I need to fix anything below.

Apparently, a church in Beni Sweif was attacked on Thursday, Aug 15. Locals say there are no army/police presence (source, Ar) — needs further verification.

Violence in Minya confirmed excessive (dataviz coming shortly), also via witnesses accounts, e.g.:

@BeeboHenein: Husband’s cousin in Minya reporting that practically no Coptic property has been left untouched. Houses, cars, shops, businesses. #Egypt

August 16


These having being damaged to various extents earlier in the afternoon:
– Fayyoum: Al-Amir/Prince Tadros (Saint-Theodore)

  • Helwan, Hadayek: Saint-George Church burnt (sources 1 and 2 (En), source (Ar), photo)

  • Minya (Malawi): the Evangelical Church was burnt (photos 1, 2, 3, a Demotix album, video), and the Catholic Church was badly damaged (photos 1, 2, 3). Christians with relatives in the nearby villages are leaving (info via @basildabh + source in Ar). Apparently, no security forces are present in the area to protect Christians from the attacks of “thugs” (video from Father Joseph calling on the military to intervene and protect the people).
    /!\ There were reports that Muslim Brotherhood members have set up explosives in the Evangelical Church. These reports could NOT be verified.

  • Sohag: Abu Halqa Church was attacked (source, Ar)

  • Suez: the Bon Pasteur (Good Shepherd) church has been attacked with Molotovs and bricks (Youm7 (Ar), accident reported around 3-3:30pm). This is the second time this church is attacked in the last three days (first attack on Aug 14).

Attempted attacks

  • Cairo (Maadi): the Saint-Mary Church, unharmed (source, Ar)

  • Cairo: (Shubra, Masarra): the Virgin Mary Church (source)

  • Giza: the Bishopric (source)

  • Gharbeya (Kotshins): the Saint-George Church (source, Ar)

  • Gharbeya (Hikma str.): the Al-Malak Churche (source, Ar)

  • Minya (Beni Mazar): the Mar-Mina Church (source)

  • Minya (Malawi): the Monastery of Abu Fana (source)

  • Kafr el-Sheikh: the Mar-Girgis Church (source)

Christian Schools and Other Institutions

  • Cairo (Daher): the Franciscan Sisters School originally built in 1875 (source, photo)
  • Minya (Malawi, Tahrir School Complex): four primary schools in the were burnt (source, Ar)

Homes and Businesses

  • Minya: houses and shops burnt (source, En; photo)

  • Qena: six Copts held hostage by armed gunmen. After exchange of fire with police they were freed and one gunman arrested (source, Ar; another source, Ar)

August 17


  • Beni Sweif (al-Wasta): the Saint-George Church (source, Ar)

  • Minya: the Saint-George Church set on fire and looted (source, Ar)

Attempted attacks

  • Cairo: church at Boulaq Al-Dakrour was attacked and broke in, but residents and the police stopped the attack (source)

  • Giza (Murad Str.): the Saint-George Church was attacked, but the armed prevented (source, Ar)

  • Minya (Belhasa): the Saint-George Church was burnt (sources 1 and 2, Ar)

-Minya (Belhasa): the Abu Sefen Church was burnt (sources 1 and 2, Ar)

  • Qalyubiya (Shebeen al-Qanater): the Menyet Shebeen Church (source, Ar)

Other Christian Institutions

  • Minya (Maghagha): two schools (Saint-Mark and Al Tewfik belonging to the Minya Bishophric in Maghagha) were stormed and looted (source)
  • Minya (Maghagha): two buses belonging to the Bishophric were stolen, as well as the safe and 40 computers (source)

Homes and Businesses

  • Minya (Al-Adwa,Belhasa): Coptic homes torched (source)
  • Minya (Dilga): armed attack on Coptic homes (source)

August 18

Status Updates

  • Assiut: Mary-Girgis Church conducted prayers amidst the ruins of the Church (image);
  • Minya: All churches have cancelled the second Sunday liturgy due to the tense security situation on Sunday 18 August 2013. The first liturgy was brief (source)

  • Suez: The Associated Press reported that 3 nuns had been “paraded like prisoners of war” before the torching of the Franciscan Catholic monastery on Aug 14 during the torching rampage. In addition, AP reported that a Muslim woman took them in and saved them. While the AP report includes interviews with at least two of the nuns, the Catholic Church’s media spokesperson Father Rafic Greishe said the information was inaccurate and that the nuns were asked to leave before torching the place and that indeed a nearby Muslim neighbor took the nuns in.

Attempted attacks

  • Minya (Malawi): the Pentecostal Church sufferred an attempted attack but citizen committees and security forces prevented further violence (source, En)

August 19

Attempted attacks

  • Minya (Malawi): the Abu Fana Monastery was besieged, monks were asked to leave. Army intervened and prevented further attack (sources 1, 2)

Reported Casualties

From August 14:
– Iskandar Tos, 60 (source, Ar)

Injured: Abanoub, 14 (Beni Maza, Minya) source (Watani International reports him as 12-yo)

From August 16:


Maspero Youth Union published a wrap-up on its Facebook page, here is an excerpt (and for Facebook-less people, here’s the full statement):

Maspero Youth Union updated report on the latest Attacks on churches and Copts by Muslim brotherhood and supporters of the ousted president Mohamed Morsi (14th to 16th of August 2013).
outcome of the attack of Muslim brotherhood gangs on Coptic Christians in Egypt:
38 Churches completely destroyed, burned and looted
23 Churches attacked and partially damaged
In Addition to the following:
– 58 houses owned by Copts in different burned and looted
– 85 shops owned by Copts
– 16 pharmacies
– 3 hotels (Horus, Susana & Akhnaton)
– 75 cars, buses owned by churches
-6 people killed based on their religious Christian Identity
-7 Coptic people kidnapped in upper Egypt governorates

A comprehensive summary including statements from public figures and list of deaths with professions and locations is also available on Watani International (En) website.

Media Reports

  • Egyptian Protesters Turn Fury on Coptic Christians ( ABC News)

  • ‘Horrible’: Christian churches across Egypt stormed, torched (CNN)

  • USCIRF Condemns Violence in Egypt (USCIRF)

  • Witness Accounts of Sectarian Attacks Across Egypt ( The New York Times, The Lede) — this piece describes my work on the destructions

  • Sectarian Violence Sweeps Over Egypt (Jadaliyya) — this is my own piece
  • Egypt: Islamists hit Christian churches (The Associated Press)

  • A Summary of the Attacks (Youm7, Ar)

  • In Egyptian village, Christian shops marked ahead of church attack (the Christian Science Monitor)
  • For the first time in its history, the Coptic Church sent a letter (Ar) with full documentation, pictures and videos of the attacks against Churches, to all national and international media.

31 thoughts on “Egypt: Attacks on Churches Continue Amidst Nationwide Violence

Comments are closed.