Minya’s streets are now lined with burned-out hulks. Church interiors have been reduced to ash. The once-cheerful turquoise exterior of a Christian orphanage is now streaked black from the fire that gutted it. Destroyed wheelchairs sit outside a burned-out Jesuit center that worked with disabled people. Torched schools, shops, and monasteries lie in ruins. On one street, several Christian-owned shops are reduced to scorched rubble. Nearby, an untouched snack shop blares a song that proclaims “Egypt is Islamic.”
As the attacks happened, police did little or nothing to stop them.
For some Christians, the trouble didn’t stop when the flames died down. A few days after their church was torched, a neighbor relayed an anonymous threat to Said Botros Attallah and his wife Sahar Atteya Saadallah: Pay 500 Egyptian pounds, or their house would be burned down – with them inside.
Samir Lamei Sakr, a lawyer who focuses on human rights, has already seen his home burned down in the village of Delja, in Minya province. He says there is no going back. He fled to Cairo with his immediate and extended family after mobs attacked their houses, and killed his cousin, dragging his body through the streets behind a vehicle, Mr. Sakr says.