Egypt’s new Prime Minister Essam Sharaf has met with the Christians who have been
protesting since a church was set on fire on the outskirts of Cairo at the weekend
-- the latest sectarian flare-up in a country already facing political turmoil.
say the church in Helwan, on the outskirts of Cairo, was torched after a row sparked
by a relationship between a Christian man and a Muslim woman.
“Some of the
Muslim mobs in the area took the land […] and put a sign that it’s now a mosque,”
says Michael Meunier, President of the U.S. Copts Association.
Sharaf told members of the Coptic community that he would speak to the military council
about taking back the area and rebuilding the church, but so far no action has been
“That’s a first time a seated prime minister has addressed any protesters
in Egypt,” Meunier told Vatican Radio. “He’s trying – the problem is he’s not fully
authorized. It’s still the military council that holds all the cards.”
is currently in Egypt, and has met with the Prime Minister twice to discuss the issue.
to Michael Meunier’s full interview with Kelsea Brennan-Wessels: