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ICC Note:

Nabil was killed in the December 2016 bombing of St. Peter and St. Paul church in Cairo. His daughter remembers the day vividly, including how she had just left the church to make tea on her father’s request before the explosion occurred. She ran back to find her father and held him in her arms. He told her to take care of her siblings, then he died. Since his death, Marian said she has grown closer to God and has continually felt his presence radiating in her life.                             

08/17/2017 Iraq (Gospel Herald) – A young Christian girl whose father died in a bomb attack carried out by an Islamic extremist on a Coptic church holding a Palm Sunday service has shared how her faith has grown stronger amid tragedy.

Marian, a 15-year-old Coptic Christian, recently told persecution watchdog Open Doors how her father, Nabil, died in her arms after an ISIS-linked suicide bomber entered the service held at church of St Peter and St Paul in Cairo. The December attack left 25 dead and dozens injured, making it the deadliest attack on Egypt’s Christian minority in years.

That Sunday, just days before her 15th birthday, Marian went along with her father as he guarded the church. “We had breakfast together, and we were joking with each other,” the teen told the outlet. “He was exceptionally happy that day.”

After the first service, Marian’s father asked her to go home and bring some tea: “I had just started the water cooker when I heard a big explosion. I thought of my father immediately,” she recalled. “There was white smoke everywhere, and people were running around in panic. I was in shock, but I managed to run outside. I started asking everyone if they’d seen my father.”

Through the smoke, dead bodies, and blood, Marian saw her father lying near the entrance of the church.

“He was just lying there, still holding tight to the keys of the church, even though the explosion had blown him meters away,” she said. “I put his head on my lap. He gave me the keys and asked me to take care of my younger brother and sister. Then he closed his eyes and smiled peacefully, his face shining. Then he went to heaven.”

 

 

 

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