Tensions between Coptic Christians and Muslims in an Upper Egyptian village eased this week following weekend clashes after the Christians were prevented from holding a Mass at a private home because they had no permit.
According to World Watch Monitor (WWM), local Muslims in the village of Ezbat Al-Forn, part of the Minya governorate, complained to the authorities over plans by the Copts to meet in the home on Sunday, leading to the clashes.
But on Monday, the Copts processed peacefully through the streets of the village to celebrate the feast of the Assumption of Mary and calm prevailed, the Egypt Independent reported.
According to the newspaper, the local bishop, Anba Macarius, ‘said that Muslims in the village have never objected to the prayers of the Coptic Christians in any place in Ezbat al-Forn…He added that the relations between the people are kind and neighbourly, contrary to media reports that say Muslims object to Christian prayers … [And] that prayers were held in the streets in peace and security, with no protest.’
Now, the local authorities are reportedly ‘considering’ the Christians’ request for a licence to hold religious services at the residential property, while also searching for suspects involved in Sunday’s clashes.