In Brief: Egypt’s Copts facing persecution - report
CAIRO, 12 November 2009 (IRIN) - A new report on religious freedom in Egypt says Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of the 80 million population (CIA factbook), face major rights violations and are being increasingly persecuted. The quarterly 36-page report (see Arabic version) by independent rights organization the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), said the government denies Copts the right to build churches or pray at home. It said the homes of some Copts, particularly in southern Egypt, were demolished or closed because the government suspected them of being clandestine churches, and that physical attacks against Copts had continued over the past three months, with at least three losing their lives.
According to EIPR, there are an average of four attacks against Copts every month; there have been 144 attacks nationwide over the past three years