Brigadier Mohamed Salah, the head of Abu Qurqas city council, said Ezbat al-Forn has no licensed church, so Coptic Christians bring a priest and hold their services in homes. On Sunday, he said a group of Muslims tried to stop their prayer rituals because they did not have permission to conduct prayers. The situation escalated to a point where security services had to intervene to prevent Muslims and Christians from clashing, but no one was arrested.
Christians in Egypt complain that they are being treated unfairly and that it is easier for Muslims to build a mosque than for them to build a church.
In May, 30 people were killed and at least 21 others were injured when armed militants attacked buses of Coptic Christians who were on their way to a monastery in Minya. Earlier this month, Egypt’s interior ministry announced that a man suspected to be one of the gunmen was killed in a police shootout, Ahram Online reported.