Khosous, 2 Jumadil Awwal 1434/12 April 2013 (MINA) – A senior bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Moussa, has praised Muslims in Al-Khosous who attempted to protect Christians during a recent bout of sectarian violence that left five people dead.

       “It showed the true meaning of religion and love,” The Bishop said.

        “The loving Muslims who protected Christians and the church during the deadly clashes in Al-Khosous highlighted the mistakes of the fanatics and showed the true meaning of religion and love,” Bishop Moussa, who is in charge of youth affairs at the Coptic Orthodox Church, said in a statement on Wednesday, according to Ahram report as monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

       Deadly clashes erupted in Al-Khosous in Qalioubiya on Saturday after a group of Christian teenagers allegedly daubed what some Muslims deemed offensive symbols on the walls of an Al-Azhar institute in the town, state news agency MENA reported.

        The four days have passed since the violence that disrupted the town of Al-Khosous, home for Copts and Muslims in Egypt’s governorate of Qalyubia who say they have never seen sectarian strife before, Ahram reported.

         Four Christians and one Muslim died in the violence that followed.

         Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, along with other bishops, will on Thursday accept condolences from public figures at the papal headquarters in Abbasiya.

         The media reported, on Sunday, a funeral for the Christian victims of the violence was held at St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. As mourners were leaving the cathedral they were attacked by unknown assailants. Two people died and at least 90 were injured in the ensuing violence.

         Police fired teargas and birdshot directly into the cathedral compound, sparking uproar among the Christian community.

         As citizens say, the violence was unprecedented. The main factor causes  the violence and the mastermind behind it is not certain yet.(T/P03/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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