Coptic Christians in Egypt have come under attack again, this time the killing of no less than 23 of them on their way to a mass. According to The Washington Post, the attack took place earlier today when gunmen targeted the bus carrying the worshipers to church service in a part of southern Egypt. The paper quoted a Health Ministry official, adding that although there has been claim of responsibility yet, all fingers point to the Islamic State which has claimed responsibility for previous attacks against the Copts who are a religious minority by Egypt’s distribution of religious identities.
The Washington Post recalled the declaration of a state of emergency by President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi of Egypt last month after a twin bomb attack which rocked churches in two spots, one in the key port of Alexandria and the northern city of Tanta. Casualty figures from those attacks came to 44 dead.
Pope Francis has just completed a visit to Egypt last April where he said, inter alia, that “All of us have the duty to teach coming generations that God, the Creator of heaven and earth, does not need to be protected by men.; indeed, it is he who protects them. He never desires the death of his children, but rather their life and happiness. He can neither demand nor justify violence; and indeed, he detests and rejects violence (God hates the lover of violence”, Ps 11: 5). The true God calls to unconditional love, gratuitous pardon, mercy, absolute respect for life and fraternity among his children, believers and non believers alike”