Acton Institute Powerblog

A Nation on Fire: Tragic Losses for Egyptian Christians

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Asianews reports the toll from violence in Egypt over a mere three day period. Hundreds have been killed, but there is little doubt that Christian churches, businesses, and organizations have been targeted. Here is what Asianews is calling a “representative” list:

Catholic churches and convents

    • 1. Franciscan church and school (road 23) – burned (Suez)
    • 2. Monastery of the Holy Shepherd and hospital – burned (Suez)
    • 3. Church of the Good Shepherd, Monastery of the Good Shepherd – burned in molotov attack (Asuit)
    • 4. Coptic Catholic Church of St. George – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
    • 5. Church of the Jesuits – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
    • 6. Fatima Basilica – attacked – Heliopolis
    • 7. Coptic Catholic Church of St. Mark – burned (Minya – Upper Egypt)

  • 8. Franciscan convent (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) – burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt)
  • 9. Church of St. Teresa – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 10. Franciscan Church and School – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 11. Convent of St Joseph and school – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 12. Coptic Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart – torched (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 13 Convent of the Sisters of Saint Mary – attacked (Cairo)
  • 14. School of the Holy Shepherd – attacked (Minya, Upper Egypt)
    Orthodox and Evangelical Churches
  • 1. Anglican Church of St. Saviour – burned (Suez)
  • 2. Evangelical Church of St Michael – surrounded and sacked (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 3. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George – Burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 4. Church of Al-Esla – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  •  5. Adventist Church – burned, the pastor and his wife abducted (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  •  6. Church of the Apostles – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  •  7. Church of the Holy renewal – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 8. Diocesan Centre Coptic Orthodox Qusiya – burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 9. Church of St. George – burned (Arish, North Egypt)
  • 10. Church of St. George in al-Wasta – burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt)
  • 11. Church of the Virgin Mary – attacked (Maadi, Cairo)
  • 12. Church of the Virgin Mary – attacked (Mostorod, Cairo)
  • 13. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George – attacked (Helwan, Cairo)
  • 14. Church of ​​St. Mary of El Naziah – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 15. Church of Santa Damiana – sacked and burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 16. Church of St. Theodore – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 17. Evangelical Church of al-Zorby – Sacked and destroyed (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 18. Church of St. Joseph – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 19. Franciscan School – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 20. Coptic Orthodox Diocesan Center of St. Paul – burned (Gharbiya, Delta)
  • 21. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Anthony – burned (Giza)
  • 22. Coptic Church of St. George – burned (Atfeeh, Giza)
  • 23. Church of the Virgin Mary and father Abraham – burned (Delga, Deir Mawas, Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 24. Church of St. Mina Abu Hilal Kebly – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 25. Baptist Church in Beni Mazar – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 26. Church of Amir Tawadros – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 27. Evangelical Church – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 28. Church of Anba Moussa al-Aswad- burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 29. Church of the Apostles – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 30. Church of St Mary – arson attempt (Qena, Upper Egypt)
  • 31. Coptic Church of St. George – burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 32. Church of Santa Damiana – Attacked and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 33. Church of the Virgin Mary – burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 34. Church of St. Mark and community center – burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 35. Church of Anba Abram – destroyed and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
    Christian institutions
  • 1. House of Fr. Angelos (pastor of the church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abraham) – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 2. Properties and shops of Christians – Burnt (Arish, North Egypt)
  • 3. 17 Christian homes attacked and looted (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 4. Christian homes – Attach (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 5. Offices of the Evangelical Foundation – burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 6. Stores, pharmacies, hotels owned by Christians – attacked and looted (Luxor, Upper Egypt)
  • 7. Library of the Bible Society – burned (Cairo)
  • 8. Bible Society – burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 9. Bible Society- burned (Asuit, North Egypt)

For more about the situation in Egypt, read Joe Carter’s “Explainer: What’s Going On In Egypt.”

While it is clearly the nation of Egypt’s role to determine its own future, there is pressure on the White House (according to the Wall Street Journal) to reconsider the $1.5 billion in aid that the U.S. annually provides Egypt, primarily for its military. Regardless, we are seeing a tragic situation with clear religious overtones, led by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.


  • AFRICA/EGYPT – 58 churches destroyed. “But it is not a war between Christians and Muslims”, says the spokesperson of the Catholic Bishops
    Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – 58 churches and Christian institutions were attacked and set on fire in Egypt in past days. This was reported to Fides Agency by Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman of the Catholic Bishops of Egypt. “Out of 58 churches attacked 14 are Catholic, the rest belong to the Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant communities” says Fr. Greiche. “The attacks against the churches took place all over the Country, but are concentrated especially in the areas of Al Minya and Assiut, because it is there that we find the headquarters of the jihadists, responsible for this violence”, adds Fr. Greiche.
    “It should be emphasized – the priest says – that Muslims who live in the vicinity of the affected churches have helped men and women religious to put out the fires of the religious buildings”.
    “This is not a civil war between Christians and Muslims”, emphasizes Fr. Greiche. “It is not a civil war but a war against terrorism. And the majority of the population is against terrorism and religious extremism”, concludes Fr. Greiche. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/08/2013)

    • Curt Day

      It has become a war between the Brotherhood and the military where the Brotherhood is being made synonymous with terrorists. Certainly, the Brotherhood is bad but the military comes out of its control-freak closet when it thinks necessary. For the longer the military can provoke more Brotherhood violence with massacres, the longer it can assume the right to be in control. But at the same time, the longer it stays in control, the longer democracy is held at bay.

  • Curt Day

    What has occurred in Egypt is a power struggle hidden under the cover of the demand for democracy. between Morsi and the Military. Morsi’s attempt to grab power began with broken promises and then cheated to create a favorable parliament as well firing many judges and replacing them with pro-Muslim Brotherhood judges. The military too used the democratic protests demanding the removal of Morsi to grab power for themselves. Both of these groups are highly authoritarian and are acting to pass that on to society by seizing power.

    On the other hand, we have the revolutionary socialists who have spoken against the atrocities of both sides. They have been speaking up for any side that has been ill treated.

    The US will be backing those who oversee the buying of weapons

    • Marc Vander Maas

      Yes. Surely what Egypt needs now more than ever is a good dose of Trotskyism.

      • Curt Day

        Surely you realize that not all from the Left follow Trotsky.

        on trotsky et. al.

        • Marc Vander Maas

          Yup. I’m aware of that. Surely you realize that the Egyptian Revolutionary Socialists are associated with Trotskyism and are currently advocating “permanent revolution,” a theory associated with Trotsky. But in the end, you may be right, considering that the International Committee of the Fourth International (which was, of course, founded by Trotskyists) is currently condemning the Revolutionary Socialists for supporting the Egyptian Military in all this.

          During the coup, the RS functioned as a front group for the Egyptian military and its imperialist backers as part of the Tamarod (“Rebellion”) alliance. By backing the coup, Tamarod provided the military with the opening it needed to oust Mursi and create the conditions for a crackdown against the working class.

          Oh my. Are the Revolutionary Socialists now right-wing? Would Chomsky accuse them of exhibiting “libertarian” tendencies?

          It’s just so hard to find good socialists these days.