Egypt's Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb, meeting with the Bishop of Giza, Anba Theodesus on Tuesday, expressed his sorrow over the torching of a church south of Cairo.
On Saturday, angry protesters set fire to a church in the village of Sol Atfih, in Helwan, on learning of an affair that took place between a Christian young man and a Muslim girl. The violence was triggered by a feud between the couple's families, who disapproved of the romantic relationship.
Two were killed in the clashes, reportedly the fathers of the couple.
Al-Tayyeb described the incident as "unprecedented in Arab and Muslim history," saying it conflicts with Islamic teachings that respect the freedom of worship for the followers of other religions.
He urged Solâ€™s Muslims to rebuild the church and steer away from sedition.