At least 41 people died in a church fire in the Egyptian capital Cairo

At least 41 people died in a church fire in the Egyptian capital Cairo

A fire that broke out at a Coptic church in a popular Cairo neighborhood on Sunday (14th) during a religious rally killed 41 people as it hit the largest Christian community in the Middle East, which numbers between 10 and 15 million believers in Egypt Has. .

The Egyptian Coptic Church reported “41 dead and 14 injured” in a statement posted to its Facebook account, citing Health Ministry sources. The fire, the origin of which has not yet been determined, has since been brought under control, officials said.

The Abou Sifine Church is located in the popular Imbaba district, named after the Coptsworshipped Saint Mercury of Caesarea. “I have mobilized all government agencies to ensure that all measures are taken,” Egyptian President Abdel Fattah alSissi responded on his Facebook account.

The State Department said it had launched an investigation and dispatched a team to the scene to investigate the causes that caused the fire, while the Health Department said it had dispatched dozens of ambulances.

Sissi also announced that he had “expressed his condolences over the phone” to Coptic leader Tawadros II, who has been the leader of the Christian community in Egypt since 2012.

In the metropolis of Cairo, where millions of Egyptians live in informal settlements, accidental fires are not uncommon.

In general, Egypt, endowed with precarious and poorly maintained infrastructure, regularly experiences deadly fires in its various provinces.

In March 2021, at least 20 people died in a fire at a textile factory on the eastern outskirts of Cairo.

In 2020, two hospital fires claimed the lives of 14 Covid19 patients.

Although numerous, Copts feel underrepresented in politics and public office, complaining that legislation is too restrictive for church building and far more liberal for mosques.

The matter is delicate. Coptic human rights activist Patrick Zaki recently spent 22 months in prison for spreading “false information” about an article exposing violations of Christian rights in Egypt.