01/20/2019 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Egypt’s Media Center of the Council of Ministers has issued a statement that denies there is any truth to the recent church closures in the Minya Governorate. The statement says that these are based on rumors intended to incite sectarian strife and break national unity. The media center contacted the Minya Governorate to make clear that the news of church closures was not true. The Minya Governorate, in turn, appealed to local media and requested that they not publish such news.
ICC has reported on four church closures in Minya in almost as many weeks. Each of these churches were closed as a result of a mob of hardline Islamic extremists attacking the church. This does not include churches which have already been closed for months or even years. These recent incidents prompted the Church in Samalut to issue a statement directed to the Ministry of Interior noting that six local churches are currently closed. They are:
- Church of Pope Kyrillos, closed in 2006 in the village of Someda
- Church of the Virgin Mary, closed in 2006 in the village of Dawood and Joseph
- Church of St. George, closed in 2002 in the village of Dabous
- Church of Mari Girgis, burned in 2016 and not allowed to rebuild in the village of Faraj Allah
- Church of St. John, closed in 2018 in the village of Kom Raheb
- Father Maker Church, not allowed to build in the village of Abu Hanas