Following the closure of a number of churches in recent weeks, Coptic Christians in the south of Egypt have renewed calls on local authorities for an end to discrimination.
Two churches in two separate villages in the southern province of Minya have been shut down by the authorities, a statement by the Minya diocese said.
It said worshippers were harassed at both churches and pelted with rocks at one of them.
‘We have kept quiet for two weeks after the closure of one of the churches, but due to our silence the situation has worsened … it is as if prayer is a crime the Copts must be punished for,’ said the statement, which was released on Saturday.
A third church was closed following rumors of a pending attack, but the diocese said no attack has taken place since and the church remains closed.