From Christian Freedom International:
Eight Christian families have been evicted from their homes in northern Egypt following two attacks on their village.
The conflict first began in late January, after rumors surfaced of an affair between a local Christian and a Muslim woman. Although the man, Mourad Samy Guirguis, has denied the allegations, enraged Muslims looted and torched numerous Christian homes and shops on two separate occasions, until Guirguis finally turned himself in to authorities for his own protection.
Shortly thereafter, village elders and local police unanimously agreed to evict eight Christian families from their properties and put the land up for sale. The decision came as a result of three “reconciliation meetings,” which bypass Egypt’s judicial system as another form of conflict resolution. At the meetings, Muslims claimed that their honor was damaged in the affair allegations, and they refused to grant compensation to innocent Christians who had been victims of the attacks.
But critics of reconciliation meetings have denounced the recent evictions. “Who gave them the right to form a committee headed by a Salafi [Muslim] to sell Christian property?” says Magdi Khalil of the Middle East Freedom Forum. “If we accept this, we will open the door to an avalanche of forced evictions.”
“Reconciliation meetings are nothing more than a method to excuse those responsible for violence, shift blame on the victims, and to completely ignore justice,” says Aidan Clay of International Christian Concern. “We urge Egyptian officials to retract the illegal decision that was made to evict the eight Christian families and to arrest and convict those responsible for burning down Christian homes and businesses.”
Please pray for the members of these Christian families during this difficult time, and that justice would ultimately be served in this conflict without further violence or aggression against our Christian brethren.