Copts urge licensing a Church

The Egyptian Gazette

A Coptic bishop called on authorities to expedite procedures to issue a licence for a controversial church in eastern Cairo after reconciliation efforts between Muslims and Christians in the area hit a deadlock.

“More than 2,000 Coptic families in Ain Shams are waiting for a licence for the church to hold their prayers after a pledge by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to open the closed churches,” Bishop Marcos Berti of the Virgin and Bishop Abrahm Church said.

“Claims that Muslims that the church was mainly a factory are nonsense,” he said. “The owner of the factory bestowed it to Christians to build a church in 2008,” added Berti.

Around 70 Muslims and Copts were injured in clashes over the opening of the church last week.