Egypt: Copts of Wasta face unknown future
For more than ten days the Christians in Wasta (in Beni Suef province) have been forced to close their shops,
Recently, they were allowed to re-open their businesses, but for only one month due to end on April 25th, otherwise the Copts will receive severe punishment and will be forced to leave the city.
The trouble started on 19 March when a Muslim girl's family accused the Coptic church in Wasta that it was behind her disappearance two months ago. The church has denied this completely, and confirmed that there is no relationship with the girl and that the Church does not do forced conversions to Christianity nor encourage it.
Nevertheless, Salafists in the city insist the Coptic church was involved, and they attacked the church, hurled stones, destroyed its contents and damaged some shops of Copts. Church security guards were assaulted also.
Besides that when Copts complained to the local authorities, they were advised to reconcile so as not to provoke the feelings of Muslims.
Al-Kalema center for human rights, appeals to the Egyptian government to take the necessary measures to protect Coptic citizens according to the Egyptian constitution and human rights charters signed by it. This is especially urgent as the Coptic community has received new threats despite the fact that the Director of Security has confirmed that the girl returned from abroad and married a person whose identity has not been confirmed yet.