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Morsi supporters torch three churches in Egypt

Supporters of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi torched three churches in central Egypt on Wednesday in reprisal attacks as police dispersed demonstrations in Cairo, reports said. The assailants threw firebombs at Mar Gergiss church in Sohag, a city with a large community of Coptic Christians who comprise up to 10 percent of Egypt's 84 million people, causing it to burn down, the official MENA news agency said. Security officials told AFP that another two churches were attacked in El-Menia province, leaving them partially damaged by fire.

Egypt Copts hopeful over new govt despite attacks

Egypt's Coptic Christians are holding out hope the removal of an Islamist president will help curtail sectarian discrimination against them, despite being targeted in deadly attacks since Mohamed Morsi's ouster. At least six Copts have been killed in a wave of nationwide violence following the popularly backed military coup on July 3, said the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). One of them was found decapitated in the Sinai peninsula.

Pope Francis prays for 'full unity' with Copts

Pope Francis on Friday prayed for "full unity" with the Coptic Orthodox Church as he received Patriarch of Alexandria Tawadros II for an historic visit in the latest sign of closer ties between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds. "Our persevering prayer, our dialogue and the will to build communion day by day in mutual love will allow us to take important further steps towards full unity," Francis told Coptic Orthodox leader Tawadros at their meeting in the Vatican.

Vatican prepares for historic Coptic leader visit

Coptic Orthodox leader Tawadros II arrives in Rome on Thursday for a historic four-day visit to meet Pope Francis -- a sign of growing rapprochement between the Vatican and the Orthodox world. The meeting on Friday will be the first between an Egyptian patriarch of Alexandria and a head of the Roman Catholic Church since 1973 when pope Paul VI met with Tawadros' predecessor Shenouda III.

Death toll in Egypt sectarian clashes rises to 9

The death toll in Egypt's recent sectarian clashes rose to nine on Thursday after another person died of his wounds from fights between Muslims and Copts, a health ministry spokesman told Xinhua. A 21-year-old Muslim died of severe burns from a petrol bomb thrown at him on Saturday, Yahya Moussa said.

Death toll rises to 9 in Egypt sectarian clashes

The death toll in Egypt's recent sectarian clashes rose to nine on Thursday after another person died of his wounds from fights between Muslims and Copts.A 21-year-old Muslim died of severe burns from a petrol bomb thrown at him on Saturday, Yahya Moussa said.The sectarian clashes started early Saturday after some Coptic children allegedly drew some crosses on a wall of an Islamic institute in Khosoos of Qalyubiya north of Cairo, killing four Copts and a Muslim.On Sunday, clashes erupted again in Cairo during the funeral at the capital's main church for the Copts, leav

Insight - After cathedral clash, Copts doubt future in Egypt

By Ulf Laessing CAIRO (Reuters) - When Egyptian Christian Kerollos Maher watched on television as petrol bombs and rocks rained on Cairo's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral he had only one thought - emigration. "Egypt is no longer my country," said the 24-year-old construction worker, standing in the courtyard of the country's largest cathedral where one Copt and one Muslim died in sectarian clashes this week.

Leader of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church blasts country's president over handling of recent deadly sectarian violence

The leader of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church on Tuesday blasted the country's Islamist president over his handling of the recent deadly sectarian violence, including an attack on the main cathedral in Cairo.The remarks by Pope Tawadros II underscore rising Muslim-Christian tensions in Egypt. They were Tawadros' first direct criticism of President Mohammed Morsi since he was enthroned in November as the spiritual leader of Egypt's Orthodox Christians.

Egypt pope blasts Morsi over cathedral clashes

Egypt's Pope Tawadros II accused President Mohamed Morsi on Tuesday of "negligence" over his response to deadly clashes outside Cairo's Coptic cathedral, the worst sectarian crisis since the Islamist took power in June. Morsi telephoned Tawadros after Sunday's violence, which saw crowds pelt mourners with stones after they emerged from a funeral service for slain Copts. Shocking television images showed police fire tear gas at St Mark's Cathedral -- symbol of the Coptic community, which has long complained of discrimination and been the target of frequent attacks by Muslims.

3 Coptic, 1 Muslim killed in brawl in Egypt

Three Coptic and one Muslim were killed Saturday in clashes between two families in northeastern Egypt, state-run Ahram Online reported, without mentioning the reasons behind the brawl.Some others from the two families were injured in the incident in the Qanater el-Khiriah district, Qalyubiya governorate, 40 km from the capital Cairo.A nearby Anglican Church and a nursery annexed to it were set ablaze during the quarrel, said Soryal Yonan, an archpriest of Mar Girigis Church.Yonan said the situation was tense and shots were heard outside the church which was closed to
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