Neville Kyrke-Smith, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need UK, witnessed Egypt’s flourishing faith. He said that “despite challenges, oppression and the ever-present threat of attacks, Egypt’s Christians have a vibrant faith”. He walked through the burnt out rubble of St George’s Coptic Catholic Cathedral, Luxor which a mysterious fire completely destroyed, yet, “despite the devastation, more than 1,000 people pack into the hall and dusty courtyard every Sunday to celebrate the ancient Coptic Liturgy”.
International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on July 13, 2018, a mob of Islamic extremists formed in Sultan village, outside of St. Karas Church. Islamic hardliners were responding to reports that the church was seeking legalization. This was the third time in recent weeks that a mob has formed against Sultan’s Christian community.
The impact of years of heightened religious tension between Copts and Muslims is evident even from Egypt’s national football team. When cafes across Egypt flood with excited supporters this month to watch the national team take part in a World Cup for the first time since 1990, there will be a sense of frustration among many of the country’s Coptic Christian footballers who claim only Muslims get to play.