Prayer Updates

Get the latest prayer requests from persecuted Christians around the world

Renewed day by day

September 4, 2013 by Open Doors in

A photographic journey into the destruction, and resilience, of Egypt’s churches

Miriam, a member of Bishop Moussa Coptic Church in Minya, absorbs the destruction caused Aug 14 by  pro-Morsi mobs.

Photo: Miriam, a member of Bishop Moussa Coptic Church in Minya, absorbs the destruction caused Aug 14 by  pro-Morsi mobs.  “God willing, we will rebuild and better than before,” she said.

On Aug. 14, the Egyptian Army moved against large groups of protesters who had set up camp in Cairo. They had been in the streets since July 3, when the military removed Mohamed Morsi from the presidency and the Muslim Brotherhood from power. 

The Moussa Church basement was torched, destroying furniture and leaving stacks of half-burnt books still lining the walls.  Tradition, however, survived.  Women sat on one side, and men on the other.

Photo: The Moussa Church basement was torched, destroying furniture and leaving stacks of half-burnt books still lining the walls.  Tradition, however, survived.  Women sat on one side, and men on the other.

Using helicopters, tanks, tear gas and live ammunition — and encountering live fire in return — the Army’s move touched off violence that has left hundreds of Egyptians dead. Morsi remains incommunicado, and thousands of  Brotherhood members have been rounded up.

Father Boukhtar presents the Sacrament of Holy Communion to believers at Bishop Moussa Church.

Photo: Father Boukhtar presents the Sacrament of Holy Communion to believers at Bishop Moussa Church.

Anger at the Army quickly was directed at Egypt’s Christian churches. Though Christians are a distinct minority of the population, Morsi’s supporters saw the hand of the Coptic Church in the military coup, and mobs attacked dozens of churches up and down the Nile, especially in the Minya region in southern Egypt, where the Christian population is most concentrated — and where some of Egypt’s staunchest Islamist elements are based.

Father Samwin Azziz presents the Sacrament of Holy Communion in the burned-out basement, where a temporary altar had been built within a week of the attack on the church.

Photo: Father Samwin Azziz presents the Sacrament of Holy Communion in the burned-out basement, where a temporary altar had been built within a week of the attack on the church.

Cairo-based photographer David Degner spent several days in late August in the Minya region, documenting the deep wounds to some of  Egypt’s churches. As with a fire that burns through a forest, Degner found widespread destruction. Following mass, members of Bishop Moussa Coptic head upstairs to the sanctuary to assess the damage

Photo: Following mass, members of Bishop Moussa Coptic head upstairs to the sanctuary to assess the damage

And, as with the green shoots of new growth that push up through the ashes on the forest floor, he found signs of new life among the destruction. 

Source: World Watch Monitor

{button}PREVIOUS| http://www.opendoorsusa.org/News/2013/09-September/Maldives-elections-unlikely-to-improve-religious-freedom|PREVIOUS{/button}  {button}NEXT| http://www.opendoorsusa.org/News/2013/09-September/Dozens-of-noisy-churches-silenced-in-Cameroon|NEXT{/button} 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *