July 20, 2017
Dear Friend of Israel,
The Coptic Christian pilgrims were on their way to a monastery near Minya, Egypt, in the desert south of Cairo. They did not know what evil awaited them as they drove along the dusty road.
At some point in their journey, a group of armed men stopped their vehicles and ordered passengers out. The gunmen, radical Islamist terrorists affiliated with ISIS, told them they must recite the Islamic declaration of faith. The Christians refused, and the shooting started. When it was over, at least 28 Christians lay dead, murdered in cold blood.
One of the bus drivers, who was injured but survived by pretending to be dead, recalled the horror: “In a second, they got inside and shot at every living and moving object they could see … Even the little children were targets to them.”
This massacre, which occurred in May, was one of the worst in a series of atrocities committed against Egypt’s Coptic Christians, members of a denomination that has existed for nearly 2,000 years. In fact, the situation in Egypt has become so dire that church leaders have told Copts to cancel all public events and gatherings. The danger is simply too great.
The war on Egypt’s Coptic Christians is part of a larger war on Christians that radical Islamists are waging across the Middle East. Churches have been bombed, Christians slaughtered, entire Christian villages abandoned. The Islamists’ hatred has created a staggering humanitarian crisis.
The Fellowship and our supporters will not stand idly by. We are working to meet the basic needs of Christians in Egypt, as well as provide psychological and medical care, increased security, and more. To protect innocent lives, I cannot divulge more details. But rest assured that we have heard the cries of Egypt’s Christians – and we are responding.
Please join us in this effort, which we will extend beyond Egypt to include Christians suffering throughout the Middle East. Just as we continue to fight anti-Semitism and assist victims of terror, so we now must fight this rising Christian persecution, and extend a loving, helping hand to those who are its victims. And we must continue to implore God for His precious gift of shalom, peace, for all those affected by these atrocities.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President