The Christian community in Egypt has dwindled since the birth of Islam about 1,400 years ago, but Minya remains one of the Egyptian cities with a large population of Coptic Christians, making up about 40 percent of its more than 2 million inhabitants. Copts, an Anglicized Arabic word for Egyptian, share many theological beliefs of Roman Catholicism.
Minya also is a stronghold of Gemaa Islamiyya, a U.S.-designated terrorist group that attacked Coptic Christians, government agencies and tourists throughout the 1990s. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party and the hard-line Salafist al-Noor party are the most popular parties here among Muslims.
Behind the quiet and quaint facade of Abo Korkas, Christian residents who live amid a labyrinth of dirt roads say they are worried.
Peace was long a pillar of this town until a group of men who are believed to be Salafi Muslims set fire to the homes of Christians like Ms. Hanna's and smashed stone walls, leaving 10 properties in soot-stained rubble.For Egypt's Christians, the recent uprising have not been good:
During the revolution, many Christians thought a new government would help quell repressive tactics and create opportunities for equal rights, but the ongoing political turbulence has not improved the situation for Christians.
One of the main concerns plaguing this village is the lack of a proper security network that might help prevent more attacks. Police have largely been absent from Egypt's streets since they were withdrawn in January 2011, after deadly clashes with protesters.
"See this?" asks lawyer Amir Sabry, pointing to a herd of horses, donkeys and cows being led alongside Egypt's Agricultural Road, which heads north into Cairo. "They are headed home from the fields because at night there are thieves."
Michael Mounir, a Coptic Christian political leader and president of the Al-Hayat Party, says Christians are not used to living without protection.
"They're living under constant fear and repression," he said.