Egypt: Christian houses set on fire because the Christians wanted to pray together in the days before Christmas

January 6, 2020

Persecution of Christians in Egypt: this is a consequence of the fact that the Egyptian government is very slow to approve applications for the construction of new churches. All too often, Christians who go ahead with construction of an urgently needed church or gather together without one, as in this case, are then subjected to mob violence, often aided and abetted by government officials. Without a house of worship, Christians are forced to celebrate sacred rites in the street, and are vulnerable there.

Please continue to remember in your prayers our brothers and sisters of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt as they are persecuted for their Christian faith. Pray for their safety and peace, and for that of the nation’s Greek Orthodox Christians as well.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Egypt, see here.

“Coptic Houses Set on Fire,” International Christian Concern, January 4, 2020:

01/04/2020 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Egyptian Christian houses were set on fire the evening of December 24th in Qena, according to Copts United News. The incident occurred just days before Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7th. The arson was done because the Christians had wanted to pray together in the days preceding Christmas. The village had requested that their church become legalized one year ago but no progress has since been made.

The presence of churches is a highly controversial issue within Egypt. The country’s laws heavily regulate this process, although less so compared to previous years. Churches are often an unwelcome presence in villages, even in cases where the population has a strong Christian demographic. Islamic extremists often do all within their power to prevent churches from operating, and to discourage Christians from living comfortably within villages.

Photo by Максим Улитин, CC BY 3.0,