In a small workshop, young people with special needs have been busy as elves preparing for Christmas by handcrafting candles and napkins that will decorate the tables of their neighbors in Egypt.
On the same road and with the same style of last year’s attack, members of ISIS killed seven Coptic Christians Nov. 2 on a bus carrying worshippers returning from a visit to St. Samuel the Confessor Monastery in El Minya Governorate.
It has been seven years since the Egyptian military brutally murdered 26 Coptic Christians who were peacefully protesting against sectarian attacks on their churches. Not only has justice not been served, but the hardliners’ attacks also have continued.
In an initiative for equal citizenship, Egyptian President Abd al Fattah el Sisi has appointed two Coptic Christian governors, including a woman, in a governor reshuffle last week.
Last week, two churches in Egypt were subject to demonstrations by Muslim hardliners who prevented Coptic Christians from worshiping, claiming the churches are unlicensed. In a third incident, a police officer broke onto a church and screamed at the worshippers “Infidels … you are all infidels.”
Egyptian authorities have arrested four men and two women suspected to be members of a terrorist cell behind a failed suicide attack on a church in Qalubiya governorate, the interior ministry said in a statement last Sunday.
To be a woman in a country where most of her people see women as a disgrace, and at best look at her from a sexual point of view, it is a heavy burden, but even worse when you are a Christian woman. It is hell!
The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops condemned the Nov. 24 bombing of a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai region, calling it a “monstrous terrorist attack on innocent people at prayer.”
Christians in Egypt “are getting to this idea that we could be a martyr at any moment,” the spokesman for the nation’s Catholic bishops told Catholic News Service.
Pope Francis’ historic, 27-hour visit to Cairo has left a profound mark on Egyptians, Catholic leaders said, as they anticipate increased ties with fellow Orthodox Christians and Muslims.