Bishop: Egyptian Christians too scared to go out for food

A bishop in Luxor, about 400 miles south of Cairo, said Muslims and Christians are afraid to leave their homes; because the shops are closed and no one is venturing outside, many are running out of food. He also claims he was terrorised last week by Islamists who tried to break into his house and kill him.

The Catholic News Service reports that Coptic Catholic Bishop Youhannes Zakaria of Luxor told Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples: 'I'm crying for all these simple people -- Muslims and Christians -- who live in the villages nearby and don't have anything because their food supplies are running out and people are afraid to leave their homes.'

'Even those who are well off can't buy food because all the shops are closed,' he told Fides. 'I'd like to go help them myself, but I can't because I'm also forced to stay inside.'

After Egyptian police and the military broke up camps of demonstrators protesting the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, more demonstrations took place Aug. 16, including in Luxor.

'After being chased from the center of Luxor, the pro-Morsi demonstrators arrived under my residence shouting, "Death to the Christians." Fortunately, the police arrived in time to save us. Now the police and the army have two armored vehicles parked here,' Bishop Zakaria said.

The Catholic News Agency reports that Bishop Youhannes Zakaria says he was terrorised on August 16 by Islamists who tried to break into his house and kill him.

'During a demonstration in Luxor a group of Islamists tried to break into my house and tried to set fire to the whole building,' Bishop Youhannes Zakaria Badir told Aid to the Church in Need August. 19.

'Thank God, the army intervened to our aid.'

His message was sent alongside that of Bishop Kyrillos William Samaan of the Coptic Eparchy of Assiut, who said he believes 'that the West does not realize what is actually happening; the reality is that we were attacked by a group of armed terrorists.'

Photo: Worshippers pray in the Chaldean Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima in Cairo

FULL COVERAGE

Bishop says Christians running out of food through fear of going out (CNS)

Egyptian bishop says Islamic terrorists tried to kill him in his home (CNA)

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