Orthodox church denies burial service for protestant couple in Minya
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CAIRO: The burial of newlyweds was rejected Tuesday by an Orthodox church in Minya, stirring mixed reactions among the Christian community in Egypt.

Since the two had married at a Protestant church, the church denied them Orthodox funeral rites. The couple died of gas leak in their apartment on their wedding night in the Upper Egyptian village of Atlidam.

The pastor of the local evangelical church was out of town, head of the Egyptian Evangelical Community Andrea Zaky told Youm7 Thursday.

Muslim locals of the village, who witnessed the incident as they were going to attend the funeral, offered that the burial service be performed at a mosque, Zaky said.

Meanwhile, al-Bawaba News reported that the evangelical church was too small for the mourners; who hence headed to the larger Orthodox Church, but were refused.

Priest of Mar Gerges Church of Atildam was quoted by al-Masry al-Youm newspaper that the burial service could have been delivered at the church that belongs to the groom’s sect, as his wife received hers at her evangelical church in Samalout, a town in Minya.

Some Egyptian Christians on social media users defended the Orthodox church’s decision, as it was the “couple’s choice” to get married at an evangelical church, while others labeled the incident “sectarian.”

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