Treason allegations against Egyptian monks rejected

Scholars, politicians defend monastery

Politicians and academics in Egypt have joined in strongly rejecting allegations of treachery levelled against the Christian congregation of St Catherine of Sinai.

Following allegations made by a retired army general, Ahmed Ragai Attiya, that monks of the ancient and famed monastery were involved in working with foreign forces against the good of the Egyptian nation, specifically that they were colluding with Greece to occupy the area and working with Israel’s secret services, supporters of the community convened a conference in Cairo last Monday at which scholars and politicians were joined by leaders of tribal areas neighbouring the monastery to defend the monks and their long and peaceful links to Egypt.

Attiya’s words against the community were especially dangerous as they were seized upon by Salafist extremists who further circulated them towards ousting the ancient Christian congregation from Sinai (pictured), said to be one of the world’s oldest, from an area where the government has been challenged by the proliferation of Islamists groups.

Meanwhile, four people died on March 28 as a demonstration by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood at a Coptic church in Cairo turned violent.

Protesting against the presidential candidacy of General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, demonstrators attacked the church.

A woman driving past the scene was shot when a crucifix was spotted hanging from the mirror of her vehicle.