- Aug 10, 2020
Tens of thousands of soldiers and police were deployed across Egypt Saturday to beef up security for minority Christians and their churches on the eve of Orthodox Christmas.
In the wake of a gunman’s attack on a Coptic Orthodox church and a Christian-owned shop near Cairo Dec. 29, killing at least nine people, a U.S. bishop urged Catholics to “pray for peace in Egypt and the Middle East and for all victims of religious and political hatred.”
In his final Angelus address of 2017, Pope Francis expressed “closeness” to Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt recently struck by attacks, asking God to “convert the hearts” of those who carry out such violence.
At least 10 people, including eight Coptic Christians, were killed after unidentified gunmen opened fire outside a church in a south Cairo suburb.
The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said authorities sealed off two churches in the southern province, citing harassment and attacks by extremists. A third was closed due to fear of attacks. The diocese urged authorities to end discrimination against Christians and “not to succumb to the fundamentalists.”
Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, the head of the Coptic Catholic Church, says after several attacks in the last 12 months by Islamic militants, Christians in Egypt have shown their “unshakable faith.” He was speaking at an event sponsored by the Italian branch of Aid to the Church in Need.