Copts plan protest after Salafis invade church in Egypt
Cairo: Egypt`s Copts are preparing for a protest demonstration after a group of radical Islamists allegedly entered a church land and offered prayers on it in a Christian-dominated district.
The Salafis conducted prayers on a parish-owned plot of land in Qalyubiya yesterday, and Christians complained that security authorities were doing nothing to stop the assault.
Bishop Marcos told a news website that a number of Salafis broke into a plot of land owned by the Shubra al-Kheima diocese, turning it into a makeshift mosque and performing prayers there.
The protest march would be staged in Cairo rather than the affected region to avoid any clashes or provocations.
The Maspero Youth Union, a group of Egyptian Copts, said in a statement that "assaults on Coptic churches and properties are renewing, the state of law is still absent and has been replaced by thuggery".
They charged that no action by security agencies was encouraging the perpetrators to turn the land into a mosque.
The statement called upon people to "reject terrorism and thuggery under the name of religion," urging all Egyptians to take part in the protest.
It said none of the suspects have been arrested and raised concerns that this could lead to more attacks on the Coptic Church.
Union spokesperson Emad al-Erian said the protest is not only meant to denounce the incident, but also to demand the return of the rule of law.
Erian urged authorities to immediately intervene to prevent potential additional attacks following Friday prayers.
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