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ICC Note: Christians comprise almost 10% of the Egyptian population, but have roots in Egypt that date to the time of Christ. They face relentless persecution, most recently suffering the murder of a young girl and the firebombing and wanton destruction of an historic 400 year old church. Please pray for Egypt’s Christians, and for their persecutors.
11/1/2013 Egypt (CBS News) – A top leader of the Muslim Brotherhood was arrested Wednesday by the military government. It’s part of the crackdown on the Brotherhood, which advocates a strict Islamic government. Essam El-Erian went into hiding when the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Since then, Islamic militants have stepped up attacks on Christians.70 percent said the same.
n a packed church in a poor Cairo neighborhood, mourners grieved for their dead: Five Christians mowed down by masked gunmen as they arrived for a wedding.
Khalil Masiha lost two of his granddaughters in the attack. Maryam was just 8 years old.
“I found little Maryam; she was hit by 14 bullets,” said Masiha. “A little girl, hit by 14 bullets.”
The shooting was the latest in a wave of attacks against Egypt’s Christian minority, which makes up about 10 percent of the country’s population. Christians say they are being targeted by hardliners in the Muslim Brotherhood after they backed the military’s crackdown on the Islamic group.
It’s a charge the Muslim Brotherhood denies.
But since the crackdown, more than 50 churches have been burned or looted. The Church of the Virgin Mary in Al Nazla, a small village a few hours outside of Cairo, was attacked last August when a large crowd burst through the gates and ransacked the compound.
According to guards who were there that night, once the church had been completely looted, the mob began then pelting it with Molotov cocktails until the entire structure was consumed by the flames.
By the time it was safe for caretaker Fawzi Saad to return, there was almost nothing left of the 400-year-old church.