Muslims and Copts in the Kom al-Loufi Village of Samalut city in Minya have started to build a church by the name of “the virgin and the martyr Abanoub” after clashes erupted between Muslims and Copts that led to the damage of the old church building in April 2017.
The village inhabitants stressed the unity, cooperation, and love of the nation during the challenges facing the country at the moment.
Ibrahim Mohammed, a resident in Kom al-Loufi, said that the construction of the church commenced with the participation of Muslims in December 2017 on a plot outside the village upon a request of the Eparchy of Minya.
Parliamentarian Magdy Malak said that Samalut inhabitants are known for their honesty and cooperation regardless of religion, color or creed. Malak asserted that the participation of Copts and Muslims in building the church proves the deep affection between them.
The Coptic Orthodox Eparchy of Samalut city said that Muslims and Copts in Samalut city have been living together, even in times of wars during the 1960s and 1970s, and during times of terrorism, as many of them sacrificed their lives for the homeland.
Sectarian clashes in Kom el-Loufi village erupted in April 2017 after Muslim families noticed groups of Copts planning to pray and perform ecclesiastical rituals inside a house without permission. This led to verbal altercations between the two sides, followed by violent clashes with bricks and stones being thrown.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm