Father Estefanos Shehata sent an urgent plea to Middle East Christian Association (MECA) on 8/14/2009 as the village elders issued a death fatwa (ruling) against him for wanting to open a prayer hall. He has also been banned from entering Ezbet Dawood Youssef, where he serves and where his family lives.
He said that the village Muslim’s reaction was absolute anger at his request to convert a space in his family’s home to be used for conducting funeral services and for marriage ceremonies. “I know we are not allowed to have a proper church in Egypt, but until now I pray for the dead and hold marriage ceremonies in the street.” Father Estefanos told Waguih Yacoub of MECA in an audio recording.
“I appeal to President Hosny Mubarak, Interior Minister, State Security and the human rights organizations, that we are Egyptian citizens and we have the right like everyone else to place our dead in a dignified place” said Rev. Estefanos.
I don’t think that this will make the front pages, not even now that Obama is visiting Egypt.