By Essam Fadl
CAIRO: Copts protested inside the Ezbet Gaafar Church in Al-Fashn town, Beni Suef, after a decision by the city’s administration office to demolish the church’s dome.
Al-Fashn town’s administration office said the contractors didn’t commit to the presidential permit regarding the restoration of the church, which stipulated the demolishment of the old building and erecting a new one without a dome.
Security forces cordoned the church and increased its presence in the village in fear of any clashes between officials of the town administration and the resident Copts.
An official at the administration office told Daily News Egypt in a telephone interview that the church was built years ago, but Al-Fashn Archbishopric asked for demolishing the old building — citing cracks in the walls — and building a new one in its place.
“After issuing a Presidential Decree to demolish the old building and rebuild it with the attached drawings, the administration office issued the permit stressing on the importance of committing to the enclosed drawings,” the administration office official added.
Engineers from the office, the source continued, discovered that contractors had left a hole in the ceiling and had prepared materials to build a 2-meter-wide dome in violations of the architectural plan stated in the presidential decree.
“That’s why the administration office issued a decision to stop the building of the dome [on] Sept. 18,” the official continued. “But we were surprised to find the [the contractors] continue to build the dome.”