11/08/2018 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – In a statement released on Tuesday, Egyptian church officials directly contradicted the account of the State Information Service regarding the Nov. 2nd attack against Christians traveling to St. Samuel Monastery.
According to the Egyptian authorities, the victims took side roads to reach the monastery because the main road had been closed because of security concerns. The authorities have within the last few years come under an increase of pressure for failing to provide security to Christians.
According to church officials, the victims took the main road and the church’s statement included testimonies from the survivors. A monk at the St. Samuel Monastery confirmed that there is only one road leading to the monastery, and it had not been permanently closed by the authorities. According to the monk, there is a security checkpoint on the main road but it is not staffed 24/7 and the Christians passed through the checkpoint before security staff had arrived.
The monk, who spoke to Mada Masr news, also noted that the road was temporarily closed following last year’s attack. It was later reopened, but only on Fridays. There is severely restricted telephone coverage on the road.
The church’s statement made several demands to Egyptian security forces. It asked for a permanent security presence, regular police patrols, paving and lighting the road, installing surveillance cameras, and reinforcing telephone coverage.
For interviews with Claire Evans, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].