AFRICA/EGYPT - Disputes over the lands of St. Macarius monastery still unresolved

Friday, 17 February 2017 justice   oriental churches  


Fayyum (Agenzia Fides) - There is still no definitive solution to the dispute between the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of St. Macarius, in the region of Wadi al Rayan, and the Egyptian government regarding the proposed construction of a road that was to join the town of Fayyum to an oasis area crossing the ownership territories of the Monastery. Egyptian lawyer Ihab Ramzy, who defends the interests of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and who also in June 2016 had announced some details of the agreement reached between the parties, in recent days reported that the ad hoc committee formed to evaluate the economic terms of compensation to the monastery for the expropriation of land has not produced proposals and useful suggestions to conclude the deal.
In early 2015, during an initiative of non-violent resistance, the monks of San Macarius tried to avoid bulldozers that were heading towards the lands of the Monastery to start road construction works.
The project involves the construction of a road that was to join the town of Fayyum to the oasis area, crossing the territories surrounding the monastery and threatening also an archaeological area that extends around a church dating back to the fourth century. The project also put at risk the water supply of the Monastery and some cultivated areas. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 17/02/2017)