Dozens Of Christians Killed And Wounded In Egyptian Church Attacks
Dozens of Egyptian Coptic Christians were killed and wounded at two churches Sunday near Cairo, in the latest of a series of brazen attacks against the religious minority.
The preliminary death toll counts nearly 25 after a likely improvised explosive device was set off during a Palm Sunday service near Cairo. Another attack in Alexandria killed at least 11, after a suicide bomber entered the church service.
Photos of the aftermath of the Cairo attack reveal chaos inside the church after the blast, and speculation that many of the victims where children because of the bomb’s placement. The blast also comes just a week before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the country.
— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) April 9, 2017
The blasts appear similar to a December Islamic State attack which also targeted a Sunday church service. The blast killed 25 and set off a firestorm of criticism from christian leaders saying they were no longer safe in a country where they represented nearly 10 percent of the population.
Violence against Egypt’s Christian community has surged since the ousting of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The current Christian exodus comes after an ISIS propaganda video was released last Sunday promising more attacks on the religious minority.
The video came after an ISIS terrorist killed a Christian man along with his pregnant wife, and then hung around to finish a soda before leaving. “They want to send a message that nobody is safe,” an aid worker told the New York Times.
“We are at a breaking point,” Bishop Makarios, a Christian leader in northern Egypt said in September. “People can’t put up with any more of this.” Local violence by angry supporters of the democratically elected government have since conducted nearly 300 attacks on the Christian community.
ISIS terrorists also gunned down a Coptic priest, Father Rafael Moussa, while he was on his way back from prayer in July.
The Egyptian government appointed a Muslim cleric to oversee relations between the Christian and Muslim community. The appointed cleric insisted that “Everything is good” between Christians and Muslims. “No one has even been wounded. There’s no conflict. The problem is really with the journalists writing about it,” the cleric continued.
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