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Photos from AINA

Egyptian state security officials recently destroyed a church in Luxor and assaulted the pastor and his wife. Pastor Mahrous Karam was in negotiations with city authorities on March 18 about replacing the community centre building on the church's compound when, without warning, hundreds of officials blocked the road leading to the church. Pastor Mahrous, his wife, Sabah, and their children were then driven out of their residence located on the church property. Officials slapped Sabah in the face, dragged her by her clothes and hair, and threatened to push her three-year-old son under the bulldozers if she refused to leave. The family's possessions were then thrown into the street. Twenty other children were also forcibly removed from the attached nursery. When Pastor Mahrous tried to block the demolition work by sitting on the compound's fence, he was beaten and dragged away. When officials were finished destroying the building, only a 400 square metre prayer hall remained of the original 3,000 square metres of buildings attached to the church. The governor of Luxor has denied that the family was assaulted and has claimed that security forces only seized one room of the church. (Sources: Assyrian International News Agency, Middle East Concern)

Pray that this family will know the healing touch of Jesus. Pray that God will provide them with accommodation. Pray that officials will repent of this injustice and that there will be fair negotiations in this case.

To find out more about the plight of Egyptian Christians, go to the Egypt Country Report.