In the province of Minya in central Egypt, the homes of Copts were pillaged by Muslims. “Extremists attacked the Copts, stole a large amount of jewels and money, destroyed home appliances and set fire to certain properties,” announced the archbishopric of the province.
On August 31, 2018, three persons, including a fireman, were wounded in attacks intended to keep Christians from using these sites for their prayers. The attacks occurred in the village of Demshaw Hashem, in Middle Egypt.
According to the website Middle East Eye, restrictive laws make it practically impossible to obtain a building permit for a Christian place of worship in some regions.
Typically, Copts in villages submit applications for the construction of a church to official bodies after meeting all the required conditions, but the applications are frozen due to objections from the security apparatus or as a result of incitement from local residents opposed to the construction of a church,
...explains the report from one association.
Faithful who simply wish to attend Sunday Mass are forced to travel long distances to reach the nearest church. In some cases, they are kept from entering the city by Muslims. This leads many communities to use residential buildings to celebrate the office. The village of Demshaw Hashem that was attacked on August 31 is one of the 150 villages with a large Christian population deprived of an official place of worship.
When invited to a reconciliation session between the representatives of the Christian and Muslim communities, Bishop Makarios, the Coptic Orthodox Metropolitan bishop of Minya and Abu Qurqas, refused. Agenzia Fides reports how he explained that “such ceremonies often have the effect of sabotaging the legitimate and dutiful safeguarding of the rights of Christian citizens.” Indeed, after these reconciliation sessions, “those responsible for violent and criminal acts end up escaping justice and their crimes are not punished.” Violent Islamist groups can be sure that “their criminal acts, in one way or another, will go unpunished.”
In other words, these reconciliation ceremonies only serve to cover up the violence of the Muslims and exonerate the guilty parties. An irenic fool’s game.