The suppression of religious minorities in Egypt is commonly committed by local, especially rural, authorities and largely ignored by the national government. New churches are denied building permits by officials. Existing churches are burned or damaged by local Muslims, and then repair permits are denied.
Christian visitors to the desert monastery of St. Samuel in Egypt have twice been the targets of savage and murderous attacks by armed Muslim gunmen.
In 2017 and again in November of 2018 Christian workers, volunteers, and pilgrims were ambushed on the road on their way to the remote monastery. The Christians were dragged out of their vehicles and shot on the spot if they claimed the name of Christ. Thirty-five Christians were martyred for their faith and dozens injured.
Now the authorities in Egypt are using those attacks as an excuse to blockade the monastery, cutting off all contact in or out, in an attempt to cripple the historic Christian landmark. No food, supplies, workmen, visitors, tourists, monks, families of monks, vehicles, or animal are permitted past the blockade.
Our CFI co-worker interviewed one of the monks blocked from returning to St. Samuel.
He told CFI the monks believe the same authority force that is implementing the blockade was complicit in the earlier attacks, through inaction at the very least, and possibly co-ordination.
The monks have been staging peaceful protests of the blockade without result.
Egypt’s Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the country’s 100 million population. The country’s minority Christians have been attacked with greater frequency since the 2011 riots, and the increasingly hardline Muslim social climate.
The St. Samuel blockade is just one more example of the worsening national persecution of Christians in Egypt.
Please, pray for Christians in Egypt.
Photo: Monks part of the St. Samuel monastery