A series of demonstrations
were held, the most recent on October 8, as Muslim fundamentalists protested against Pope Shenouda III, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Among the bizarre and unsubstantiated claims made by these groups were: that Coptic Churches are holding Muslim women against their will, in attempts to force conversions; that Coptic churches and monasteries are used to store weapons; and that Copts are planning to revolt and set up a separate state. There was a question of whether the demonstrations were instigated by the state security forces.
On Wednesday, Pope Shenouda gave his weekly sermon, which was attended by 10,000 Copts. This took place with no disruption.