Gunmen Replicate 2017 Bus Attack Against Egyptian Christians
Believers Suffer Second Violent Attack While Traveling to St. Samuel Monastery
11/02/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on November 2, 2018, masked gunmen attacked a bus of Coptic Christians traveling to St. Samuel Monastery from Minya City, Egypt. According to the Coptic Orthodox Church, seven Christians were killed during today’s attack and 13 were wounded, including children.
Today’s assault had many similarities to the bus attack which occurred on May 26, 2017. Both buses were traveling to the same destination and the attacks occurred in same location. In last year’s attack, 28 were killed and 23 were wounded. The precision of the 2017 attack led many to believe that it was carefully planned in advance.
No group has claimed responsibility for today’s attack, which resembled similar attacks conducted by ISIS in Egypt.
“Oh God, these children were students in my school!” wept Magda, a local teacher. “I can’t imagine they are dead now!”
“The micro-bus was from my church,” said Mina, a local Christian. “The gunmen shot the men in their head and some of the injured are women. They had a nervous breakdown of what they have seen and they are in the hospital. Some women also were killed.”
“Who can accept these incidents?” asked Kirolos, another local believer. “Every day, there are many incidents harming Christians. We must leave our land and get out of here. I’m so exhausted… it’s so dull and dark these days.”
Coptic Christians make up approximately 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 92 million. They have frequently complained that the authorities have embraced a position of appeasement toward hardline Islamists, thus encouraging an environment which is dangerous for Christians.
“Every official must take the responsibility,” another believer told ICC immediately after today’s attack. “All at fault must be punished. I think that if every mistaken official was dismissed or fired after every incident, the numbers of these incidents would be decreased.”
Victims of today’s attack are currently being treated at a local hospital and officials remain on the scene of the attack.
Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “Today’s attack was a message sent to Egypt’s Christians that they are not welcome in a land where they have lived for centuries. Deliberate acts of violent persecution are, tragically, the norm in Egypt. Unless the government is more intentional about protecting the rights and security of Christians, these sorts of attacks will continue. We pray for healing for the victims of today’s attack, as well as for their families, and the safety of Egypt’s Christian community.”
For interviews with Claire Evans, Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org