Dirty rubble and grey ash lie in piles strewn across the floor. Bare, smoke-stained arches frame the clear, blue sky. Once upon a time a roof would have shielded the interior of the Prince Tawadros Monastery in Fayoum, Egypt, from the hot sun, but now it is gone, destroyed by flames just like many other Christian buildings across the country that were set on fire.
“People now pray in the ashes of the churches,” says Mina Thabet, a researcher from the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms and himself a Christian living in the North African country, who provided the photo of the scene described above. “The churches have been destroyed and praying on the streets can cause problems.”