Egypt: Police stood by and encouraged a Muslim mob attacking a church. After local Muslims in Ezbet Sultan Pasha village learned that Christians, who form about 20% of the population, were on their way to legalizing a church building, they surrounded it on July 6, after Friday prayers. “The protesters were chanting slogans against us [Christians], such as ‘We don’t want a church in our village,'” said one resident. “We locked ourselves in our homes during the demonstration because we were afraid that they would attack us. Police didn’t do anything to disperse the demonstrators and didn’t arrest anyone of them.” Demonstrations continued into the next day with no police intervention.
On the following Friday, again after Muslim prayers, local Muslims and others from neighboring villages, surrounded the church again and hurled stones and bricks at it and a at nearby Christian home. “They were shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ [‘Allah is greater’] and chanting hostile slogans against Copts, such as: ‘We will not allow any church to exist in our Muslim village,’ ‘We will not allow any other prayers to be held in our Muslim village except our prayers,'” said another Christian resident. According to the report:
“While police did not intervene, one of the officers apparently promised the protesters that no church would be allowed in the village. … [T]his declaration encouraged the protesters who clapped shouting ‘Allahu akbar’…. There are at least approximately 3000 pending applications from churches that still need to be examined by the government commission set up to verify whether they meet legal requirements.”