A fire in a Coptic Christian church in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, has killed at least 41 people. Authorities in Egypt claimed on Sunday that an inferno had destroyed the Abu Sifine Coptic Christian church in Cairo’s Imbaba neighborhood, killing dozens of worshipers.
Egypt has just experienced one of its biggest fire catastrophes as a result of the conflagration.
According to the president’s office, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi phoned Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II to express his condolences.
“I am closely following the developments of the tragic accident,” Sissi wrote on Facebook.
“I directed all concerned state agencies and institutions to take all necessary measures, and immediately to deal with this accident and its effects,” Sissi wrote.
The exact origin of the fire, which claimed the lives of at least 41 individuals, is still unknown. A police statement claimed that preliminary inquiries suggested an electrical short circuit.
According to representatives of the Egyptian Interior Ministry, the fire was discovered to have originated in a second-story air-conditioner.
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Of Egypt’s 103 million people, at least 10 million are Copts, the biggest Christian group in the Middle East. However, they are still a minority.
Islamists have carried many violent attacks on the minority, especially since Sissi ousted former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Attackers have burned down homes, schools, and churches as targets.
The largest and most populous Arab nation, with a majority of Muslims, has received complaints from the community about discrimination.