ICC Note: The shooting at the Virgin Mary church outside of Cairo that took the lives of four Christians and wounded nearly 20 others has again brought the issue of violence against Christians to the forefront in Egypt. The sense of impunity that resulted from violent attacks this summer is bearing fruit as Christians continue to be targeted. The Egyptian government and security forces must take steps to see the perpetrators and those who incite violence brought to justice.
10/21/2013 Egypt (MidEast Christian News) - Bishop Raphael said the attack on the Virgin Mary church in Warraq, which claimed the lives of four Copts and wounded 18 others, is due to a failure to punish perpetrators in previous attacks on Copts.
Speaking to MCN, Bishop Raphael described the incident as “indiscriminate murder.” He added, “This incident only strengthens our love for Christ and our country, as well as our Muslim brethren.”
His Eminence expressed his wish for “the elimination of extremist movements” in Egypt.
“We have to differentiate between churches that were burned, which can be rebuilt again, and the lives that were lost that can’t be restored,” he stated when asked about the Coptic Church’s position on the recent attack.
For his part, Bishop Youannas said, “Terrorism targets the country as a whole, not just Christians, especially after the June 30 revolution.” He added, “Christians are a part of the State, and those who committed this crime only seek to divide Muslims and Christians, which they will not achieve.”
“Security forces in Egypt are facing a difficult task, and will not be able to secure every church and every person,” Bishop Youannas continued. He called upon all Egyptians to unite in confronting terrorism, while calling upon the government to investigate all sectarian incidents, and to take necessary measures against the perpetrators.