Egyptian Bible Society reopens shop destroyed by mob

Bible Society of Egypt bookstore openASSUIT, Egypt — The Bible Society of Egypt has reopened a Christian bookstore in Upper Egypt that was destroyed last year by Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers.

On August 14, vandals — angry about the dispersion of Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins in Cairo’s Tahrir Square — broke down the Bible Society Bookshop’s heavy metal door and smashed most of the shop’s glass, Bible Society of Egypt General Director Ramez Atallah said in a release.

Atallah noted that the reopening of the bookshop was significant for local Christians who felt humiliated and threatened by the destruction of dozens of churches, Christian institutions and privately -owned Christian properties around the city.

“The reopening of the bookshop in a main street in downtown Assuit is a symbol of the continuation of Christian presence in Egypt,” Atallah said in a release. “What was remarkable about this particular event was the presence of Christian leaders from all denominations in Assuit.  Bishops, priests, pastors, Christian leaders, businessmen and others attended the joyful celebration and many spoke about the significant impact of the Bible Society bookshop on the life of the Church in Assuit.”

One week before the official opening on Wednesday, July 9, the bookshop had a “soft opening.” Several passers-by brought bouquets of flowers to the staff to help celebrate, Atallah reported. Happy visitors keep staff workers at the store until midnight or later the whole week of the soft opening, and a Muslim neighbor at the re-opening ceremony said it felt like he was congratulating a newlywed son on his new home, Atallah reported.

“Despite the horrible upheaval of 2013, we thank God for the testimony of His faithfulness,” Atallah said. “The love and support that was showered upon us, both from within Egypt and abroad has been an amazing experience.”


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