In Egypt, officials incite — and then cite — Muslim violence as reason not to renovate or build churches

Security forces in Upper Egypt recently arrested 10 Coptic Christians for trying to build a wall around a piece of vacant land in order to expand their current church into the territory or possibly even build a church.

A church already exists in the village of Abu Hannas in Samalout, Minya; but, according to Father Stephanous Shehata, the current church, named after the martyr, Saint Abu Maqqar, is too small to serve the large Christian population of the village. So the church purchased an unused piece of land next to it in the hopes of expanding the current church or building another. The 10 Christians were arrested while attempting to build the wall, pending an investigation.

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