Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Bible Society Bookstores in Egypt Attacked and Destroyed
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
EGYPT (ANS) -- Two Bible Society bookstores in Egypt have been attacked and set on fire.
It happened as violence broke out across the country after security forces moved in to break up protests camps in the capital Cairo and disperse the supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi.
Egyptian Bible Society General Director Ramez Atallah called the violence, “an attack against the state by a violent minority,” which he said is “an attempt to destabilize the nation.”
Responding to the specific incidents at Bible Society properties Atallah said, “The attackers demolished the metal doors protecting the bookshops, broke the store windows behind them and set the bookshops on fire. They did the same to many stores on those streets as well as demolishing many parked cars.”
The Bible Society said he added, “Fortunately we were closed Wednesday, fearing such an attack, so none of our staff were injured. Similar incidents are taking place across the nation.”
Wednesday’s dispersal of protesters by the Egyptian police, supported by the army, was the culmination of a six-week stand off between Egyptian security forces and the Muslim Brotherhood protesters. It followed the military’s decision to remove Morsi from power on July 3.
In a letter to Bible Society supporters around the world (www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/news/4152-bible-society-bookshops-burnt-and-destroyed) Atallah said, “One of the reasons why the government has been so reticent in dispersing the sit-ins was precisely because of the Muslim Brotherhood’s many threats of retaliation. So most Egyptians expected the violence. Nevertheless, it is heartbreaking to watch on TV this bloodshed between fellow Egyptians unfolding before our eyes.”
The Bible Society in Egypt has been operating for 129 years. It says this is the first time it has been the victim of attacks like those carried out on the two stores.
The Egyptian Bible Society has asked for prayer concerning the current situation.
For more information about The Bible Society, visit www.biblesociety.org.uk/about-bible-society/where-we-work
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