The latest in the wave of sectarian attacks on Coptic Christians in Minya Governorate happened Sunday night in Tahana El-Gabal village when a group of Muslims wielding knives and batons attacked the families of Coptic Christian priests and killed 27-year-old Fam Mary Khal. They also injured Rev. Metaous' father, Nagib Hanna, Rev. Boutrous' brother, Malak Aziz, and local priest Azza Jouma.
Fox News reported that Christians in central Egypt responded by holding protests and prayers the following day.
According to Ahram Online, local media said that the attack came after an argument between Muslim and Christian children over the right to pass through a street. A prestigious Muslim body also reportedly sent a team of Muslim and Christian leaders to oversee the peaceful settlement on the recent attack.
Coptic communities, however, perceive Reconciliation Committees as only rubbing salt into their wounds as the process only forces the persecuted Christian minorities to accede to humiliating settlements and eventually forego justice. The process also allows Muslim perpetrators to go unpunished, Morning Star News reports.
"We're going to continue demanding the enforcement of the law and will not give up," said Bishop Makarious of Minya, as he urged Coptic Christians to refuse the unfair settlements.
"Every time they are set free, that is just encouraging others to do attacks in the same way, because they feel they are protected by the government," the bishop added.
In two recent and separate assaults in Minya Governorate, Muslim mobs set several houses on fire and attacked the Copt villagers of Abu Yacoub and Kom El Loofy over rumors of church building construction in the areas.
"What happened in Minya is nothing but a natural result of not enforcing the law in previous sectarian attacks against the Copts, and forcing the Copts to go through reconciliation meetings and obey illegal solutions that are demeaning," said Ishak Ibrahim, human rights researcher for Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.