- Dec 14, 2019
After several deadly terrorist attacks on Coptic Christians and others in Egypt, the people there are feeling like any one of them could become a martyr at any time. ISIS has promised to step up its targeting of Christians in the country.
Masked gunmen ambushed a bus carrying Coptic Christians to a monastery south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least 28 people, and Egypt responded by launching airstrikes against what it said were militant training bases in Libya.
Pope Francis has sent Pope Tawadros II a letter commemorating the “Day of friendship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church,” which marks the 44th anniversary of the first meeting between Blessed Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III.
The group of IS affiliates in Egypt claimed responsibility for twin suicide bombings that struck two of the country’s Coptic Christian churches last month, killing over 45 worshippers and prompting the president to declare a three-month state of emergency.
Christian leaders in the region say Pope Francis’s April 28-29 trip to Egypt was a great success. The pope has backed Egypt’s efforts to tackle Islamic militancy, saying the country has a special role to play in forging regional peace as well as in “vanquishing all violence and terrorism.”
Pope Francis met with Egypt’s priests, religious, and seminarians at Cairo’s Al-Maadi Seminary on the final day of his April 28-29 visit to the country, intended to both offer support to local Christians and strengthen interfaith and ecumenical ties in the region. Given Egypt’s rich monastic history, the pontiff told the religious to draw from the example of figures such as Saint Paul the Hermit, Saint Anthony and the Desert Fathers.