VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Catholic bishop in Luxor, about 400 miles south of Cairo, said Muslims and Christians are afraid to leave their homes; because the shops are closed and no one is venturing outside, many are running out of food.
Coptic Catholic Bishop Youhannes Zakaria of Luxor told Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, “I’m crying for all these simple people — Muslims and Christians — who live in the villages nearby and don’t have anything because their food supplies are running out and people are afraid to leave their homes.”
“Even those who are well off can’t buy food because all the shops are closed,” he told Fides Aug. 20. “I’d like to go help them myself, but I can’t because I’m also forced to stay inside.”
The next day, Bishop Zakaria told Fides that some of the soldiers had brought him bread and the tensions in the city seemed to be lessening after the arrests of some of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood.
After Egyptian police and the military broke up camps of demonstrators protesting the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, more demonstrations took place Aug. 16, including in Luxor.
“After being chased from the center of Luxor, the pro-Morsi demonstrators arrived under my residence shouting, ‘Death to the Christians.’ Fortunately, the police arrived in time to save us. Now the police and the army have two armored vehicles parked here,” Bishop Zakaria said.