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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis

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New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

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More than 50 churches in Egypt attacked in past few days

2013-08-19

Christians have come under fire from Egypts Muslim Brotherhood since violent clashes between supporters of deposed president Mohammed Morsi and the army broke out.Islamists largely accuse the Christian population in Egypt of backing the coup that removed Morsi as president.   

MARTA PETROSILLO 
Spokesperson, Help to the Church that Suffers 
"They believe that Christians and the Christian Churches supported the army in removing President Morse. There are even some who have spoken about a Christian crusade against Morsi. This is not true, because the Church has not taken positions. It allowed its members to act freely.” 

About 10 percent of the population in Egypt is Christian. They have increasingly become a minority under attack from an on-going struggle. Those attacks have centered on churches, monasteries, schools and even Christian-owned businesses across Egypt. This video shows how flames engulfed a church in Minya, south of Cairo. 

MARTA PETROSILLO 
Spokesperson, Help to the Church that Suffers 
"We are hearing that during these tragic days, about 50 churches have been torched or attacked, but it's hard, in these cases, to have exact figures because, unfortunately, there is a lack of information.”

As time goes by, the situation continues to worsen despite international calls for restraint. However, the persecution of Christians in Egypt is not new phenomenon. 

MARTA PETROSILLO 
Spokesperson, Help to the Church that Suffers 
"Surely Christians must not be happy about what has happened this year under Morsi's presidency. There have been an increase in sectarian violence, and attacks against Christians.” 

In the past few days, Pope Francis has also appealed for peace, dialogue and reconciliation in Egypt. 


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