Egypt's Coptic Christians rally for justice after Church Burning
Thousands of Coptic Christians rallied outside the state television broadcaster (CTV) in Cairo today calling for justice after a church was burned down and seven thousand Christians expelled from Saul in El Hellan district. Cairo, Egypt. 07/03/2011
Thousands of Coptic Christians are on the fourth day of a rally outside the state television broadcaster (CTV) in Cairo. Organizers claim the protest drew a crowd of 20,000 on Monday, the third day of the demonstration when these photos were taken. Several hundred Muslims also attended the rally in support of the Christians.
The protesters want justice for the Muslims who burned down a church and expelled seven thousand Christians from the village of Saul in El Hellan district. Some Muslims in the village want to build a mosque on the site of the church, but the Christians want a church rebuilt on the same site, the Christian villagers given their old homes back, and the perpetrators of crimes brought to justice.
At 9.00pm Monday night the Egyptian govenment repeated its previous offer to build a new church for the villagers on another site and compensate the victims, but protesters resoundly rejected this offer, fearing it would set a very bad precident. One hour later, the head of the Egyptian army announced that a church would be rebuilt at the original site.
The Christian's protest continued Tuesday in Cairo. In the early afternoon, the Egyptian army moved some tanks into a formation which offered the protest group protection.