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Bible Society bookshops attacked and destroyed in Egypt

Bible Society bookshops attacked and destroyed in Egypt
Two Bible Society bookshops in Egypt have been attacked and set on fire.
No workers have been injured, but the two shops in Assiut and Minia, the largest cities in Southern Egypt, have been completely destroyed.

By Richard Franklin,
August 15, 2013

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. Egypt's interim government, which has declared a state of emergency, said 235 civilians have been killed in the clashes. The Muslim Brotherhood, which has backed the protests, says more than 2,000 people have died in the violence.

Egyptian Bible Society General Director Ramez Atallah has called the violence, 'an attack against the state by a violent minority' which he says is, 'an attempt to destabilise the nation.'

Responding to the specific incidents at Bible Society properties he 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.'

He said, 'Fortunately we were closed today (Wednesday), fearing such an attack, so none of our staff were injured. Similar incidents are taking place across the nation and to date 15 churches and 3 Christian schools have been attacked and some set on fire.'

The dispersal of protestors (Wednesday) 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 which followed the military's decision to remove President Mohammed Morsi from power on 3 July. In a letter to Bible Society supporters around the world Ramez Atallah says, '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 and, it says, this is the first time it has been the victim of attacks like those carried out on the two bookshops.

The Egyptian Bible Society has asked for your prayers:

* That the government may manage to disperse the remaining sit-in with as few injuries and loss of life as possible.

* That these sad incidents would not increase the alienation of the Muslim Brotherhood, but that they would somehow be re-integrated into Egyptian society.

* For protection for all Christian properties across the nation.

* For Christians to have a spirit of forgiveness and love towards those who are perceived as being our enemies.

See more at: http://www.biblesociety.org.uk/news/bible-society-bookshops-attacked-and-destroyed-in-egypt/#sthash.3gkYY0LG.dpuf

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