Six weeks after they were forced to flee in the aftermath of an attack that left their homes completely burnt down, the Baha’is of Shoraniya remain incapable of returning to their village. Attorney Adel Ramadan from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights requested security officials to ensure the safe return of the displaced Baha’is to their homes.

However, “Al Shoruk” newspaper reported that residents of Shoraniya presented a petition to  in which they objected to the return of the Baha’is to the village. According to the newspaper’s reports, representatives from the village also expressed their readiness to purchase the Baha’i homes at at any price.

Meanwhile, “Al Wafd” newspaper broke the news of a secret memorandum sent by the Ministry of Education to the educational administration of Luxor, instructing it to admit Baha’i children into Luxor’s schools, without requiring them to present valid ID cards. Concerns were raised over the implications of this memorandum, with “Al Wafd” stating that several sources expressed fears that the Baha’is of Shoraniya might be forcibly relocated to Luxor.

Given the tense situation, we were hoping that Egypt’s religious authorities would step in and call for tolerance and respect. Instead, the Ministry of Endownments announced plans to distribute 10,000 booklets meant to expose the “truth” about the Baha’i Faith.

More disturbingly, plans were also announced for conferences to be held in various governorate (including the governorate of Sohag, where the village of Shoraniya is located) to educate Muslims on the danger that the Baha’i Faith poses, and to expose its Zionist roots.