Gutted Church Building Leaves Egyptian Copts with Debt

Source:  www.assist-ministries.com

Date:  2012-06-14

Additional repairs needed for structure Muslim extremists set ablaze last year

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that a hasty, inadequate renovation of a church building that Salafi Muslims largely gutted a year ago has left the congregation with staggering debt from additional repairs, church members said.

A scene from the restored Virgin Mary Church
(Photo: Compass Direct)

CDN said that on May 7, 2011, at least 12 people were killed and more than 200 were wounded when members of the conservative Islamic movement attacked at least two churches and surrounding Christian-owned homes and businesses in a poor section of Cairo.

"Salafis, a hard-line Islamic movement with extremist tendencies rioted, then set fire to the Virgin Mary building of the Coptic Orthodox Church after a rumor spread that a Coptic woman who had allegedly converted to Islam was being held inside building against her will," said the CDN story.

Alfons Ghatas, a deacon at the church, said that the construction company the government hired, Arab Contractors, worked around the clock on the project, but that their materials and workmanship were inferior.

The Rev. Sarabamoun Abdo, elder priest of the church, said that the congregation still owes 350,000 Egyptian pounds (US$57,760) to the second set of contractors required for additional renovations.

For more information, please go to: www.compassdirect.org

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