In the North Sinai governorate, battles are raging between the Egyptian army and jihadist groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis and the Movement for Unity and Jihad. Now, like in other governorates, Copts are being forcibly displaced.
Abanob Gerges, the coordinator of the coalition, told Al-Monitor that the targeting of Copts began following the participation of the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pope Tawadros II, in the statement of the armed forces July 2, 2013, which led to the isolation of former President Mohammed Morsi.
As a result, jihadist groups burned down the St. George Church in el-Arish, following the breakup of the sit-in held by Morsi supporters Aug. 14, 2013, in Rabia al-Adawiya compound. The armed forces arrested a number of those involved in the church’s burning, without stating their political affiliations.