58 churches and Christian institutions were attacked and set on fire in Egypt in past days during the crisis that have struck the country. This is according to Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman of the Catholic Bishops of Egypt, reports CISA.
"Out of 58 churches attacked 14 are Catholic, the rest belong to the Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant communities" said Fr Greiche. "The attacks against the churches took place all over the Country, but are concentrated especially in the areas of Al Minya and Assiut, because it is there that we find the headquarters of the jihadists, responsible for this violence."
Fr Greiche emphasized that the Muslims who live in the vicinity of the affected churches have helped men and women religious to put out the fires of the religious buildings.
"This is not a civil war between Christians and Muslims", emphasizes Fr Greiche. "It is not a civil war but a war against terrorism. And the majority of the population is against terrorism and religious extremism", he concluded.
Meanwhile, the head of the Coptic Catholic Church has expressed solidarity with other Egyptians over the wave of violence that has struck the country, bluntly calling the events a struggle against terrorist forces.
Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak of Alexandria said that “out of love for our country and in solidarity with all lovers of Egypt, both Christians and Muslims,” the patriarchate will not label the crisis “a political struggle between different factions.”
Rather, the conflict is “a war against terrorism,” he insisted in an August 18 statement.
On August 14, Egyptian security forces violently broke up the camps of protesters allied with the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement. The protesters were demanding the restoration to power of Mohammed Morsi, who had been elected president of Egypt following the country's Arab Spring, yet was ousted by the military July 3.
Since the Wednesday August 14, crackdown, violence has spread across the country, with at least 900 dead in the past six days.