The destruction of 30 houses of worship, and over 60 Christian shops, homes and cars made August 2013 the “fiercest violent scene throughout Egypt’s contemporary history,” according to a new report by the Egyptian Centre for Public Policy Studies (ECPPS).
Titled “Oppressed under different regimes—Egypt’s Christians between sectarian violence and state negligence,” ECPPS’s report found a systematic and organized surge in violence against Coptic Christians—mostly in Upper Egypt—since the 14 August dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Nahda Square.
ECPPS researchers Ahmed Abdel Wahab and Ahmed Ragab visited each of Upper Egypt’s governorates, where the violence occurred on a fact-finding mission. Abdel Wahab and Ragab interviewed the victims, clergymen and state officials, and took photos and videos to document the recent destruction.
“The aim is to present such facts to the public opinion and Egyptian decision makers to activate the law, work on protecting the lives and properties of the Egyptian Christians, and ensure no perpetrators of such crimes shall escape the legal accountability,” said a ECPPS statement.
Sixty-two families were driven out of 27 homes in Delga alone, according to Abdel Wahab. These homes were then ransacked, looted and burnt. Other Christians and their property were attacked in the governorates of Fayoum, Minya, Beni Suef, Assiut, Sohag, and Luxor.
Founded in 2007, the ECPPS is an Egyptian NGO that proposes public policy aimed at making legal and economic reforms “based on the Classical Liberal principles of the free market, minimal government, and individual freedom.”