Egypt: Man Shot Dead After Attacking Guard at Coptic Church

A knife-wielding attacker was shot dead after he attacked a guard at a Coptic church in Egypt on Wednesday.

Egypt's state news reported that the man was fatally shot by other security officials at the Virgin Mary church on the outskirts of Cairo after he stabbed one of their colleagues.

The attack happened early Wednesday morning, according to MENA. Egyptian authorities are said to be investigating the incident.

Christians make up around 10 percent of Egypt's 91 million population and have been subject to increasing levels of violence in recent years.

The attacks notably increased after Coptic Christians sided with the Egyptian army in the military coup of 2013. The uprising led to the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader and member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group.

Last month, police arrested 15 people after an arson attack on homes belonging to Coptic Christians in an Upper Egyptian village.

In June, there were assaults on the homes of Christian families in the village of Karm el Loofy, a kindergarten run by Christians in Minya was burned, and Rafael Moussa, a Coptic Orthodox priest of the church of St. George, was murdered.

Egypt currently grants legal rights to mosques but not to churches, meaning Christians struggle to build new houses of worship. The laws are being redrafted but the latest amendments have been branded "unacceptable" and "impractical" by Coptic leaders as the longstanding debate continues.

Despite a draconian ban on protests in Egypt, dozens of Christians have marched publicly demanding that they be treated as ordinary citizens.

The talks with the government will continue this month.

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