Egypt police prevent Copts from repairing church: rights groupEgyptian police used violence earlier this month to prevent villagers from repairing the only church in their area, a rights group said on Monday, warning of a rise in sectarian tension as a result.
On August 17, "a policeman assigned to guard the Archangel archangel, in religion
archangel (ärk`ānjəl), chief angel. They are four to seven in number. Sometimes specific functions are ascribed to them. The four best known in Christian tradition are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. Michael Church in Deshasha (Beni Soueif province south of Cairo) hit three women while they were taking sand into the church to fix the floor which was cracked as result of water collection underneath," the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) is an independent Egyptian human rights organization, established in 2002.
In December, 2006, the EIPR lost a significant case against the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, in which adherents of the Bahá'í Faith were (EIPR EIPR Effective Isotropic Radiated Power
EIPR Enhanced In-Process Review ) said in a statement.
After the incident rumours spread in the village that Copts had locked up the policeman inside the church, beat him up and tore his clothes, leading to the brief arrests of several Copts and to threats of retaliation RETALIATION. The act by which a nation or individual treats another in the same manner that the latter has treated them. For example, if a nation should lay a very heavy tariff on American goods, the United States would be justified in return in laying heavy duties on the manufactures and from Muslim villagers, the group said.
"The worrying rise in sectarian tension that we have seen in Deshasha is a direct result of violations committed by the police," EIPR director Hossam Bahgat said.
"This incident must be investigated and those responsible held accountable."
In Sunni Muslim-dominated Egypt, the law allows the repair of churches without a prior permit but church officials must give written notice to the provincial authorities, the EIPR said.
But according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. officials from the Archangel Michael Church, the state security intelligence has prevented repair from being carried out at the church for the past 11 years.
Clerics said the church is the oldest in the region, was built in 1895. It was last renovated in 1930 and serves 100 Christian families in the Deshasha village.
"The Archangel Michael Church in Deshasha is but one example of the futility of any efforts to reform and unify construction and renovation laws for places of worship so long as security agents continue to violate existing laws in a discriminatory manner and with complete impunity," EIPR said.
Egypt's Copts -- the largest Christian community in the Middle East -- account for an estimated six to 10 percent of the country's 76 million inhabitants
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