Copts and Egyptian security forces clashed on Sunday outside the Saints Mary and Michael Church in Talbiya, near the Pyramids, Giza. Police want to stop the church construction, which is in its final stage. This is the second time in ten days that security forces try to enter the religious compound, which is under 24-7 protection by priests and worshippers. The siege began at midnight, and lasted six hours. As of 9 pm, the church was full of worshippers praying, aware that security would try to move in.
Security forces surrounded the church compound and seized four concrete mixing vehicles on their way to the site. The concrete was spoiled.
At the same time, some 2,000 Copts joined those already in the church. Demonstrations and sit-ins took place in front of police.
Christian religious authorities said that the church would continue to be protected until the matter is not settled.
Naguib Ghobrial, president of the Egyptian Union of Human Rights, issued a statement calling for the dismissal of the head of the local government in Omraniya who ordered the security forces in.
“The Church has all the permits,” he said. “By this behaviour, the chief of the local authority is encouraging Islamists to fight with Christians because of the Church. This encourages sedition.”
A 19-year-old Christian was killed during the fight that followed this second siege. Christians, enraged, charged against the police with stones and other objects. After the news of his death were known, 3,000 Christians gathered outside the church to protest, chanting religious slogans and some against Muslims.