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Egypt's Deadliest Church Attack

Scene of Cairo church bombing, December 11, 2016 (Photo: AP screenshot)

Earlier we reported to you on two tragedies - one a suicide bombing in Egypt and one a church collapse in Nigeria - that left dozens of Christian worshipers dead this past weekend. Gatestone Institute's Raymond Ibrahim takes a look at the Cairo church bombing and laments the fact that nothing has changed for the Christians of the Middle East:

The worst attack on Egypt's Christian minority in recent years occurred yesterday, Sunday, December 11, 2016. St. Peter Cathedral in Cairo, packed with worshipers celebrating Sunday mass, was bombed; at least 27 churchgoers, mostly women and children, were killed and 65 severely wounded. As many of the wounded are in critical condition, the death toll is expected to rise.

As usual, witnesses say that state security was not present, and that police took an inordinate amount of time to arrive after the explosion. Preliminary investigations point to a bomb placed inside an unattended woman's purse on one of the rear pews of the women's section... little has really changed for Egypt's Christians since Sisi ousted Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power in 2012.

Although Western media outlets do not report them, there have been several unsuccessful terror attacks on churches in Egypt in recent weeks and months. Last November, a man hurled an improvised bomb at the entrance of St. George Church in Samalout, Egypt. Had the bomb exploded (it was dismantled in time), casualties would have been high, as the church building was packed with thousands of worshipers congregating for a holiday.

Instances of angry Muslim mobs attacking and killing Christians on the mere rumor that they are trying to build a church, or are meeting to pray in a house church, are also on the rise. Last summer in Minya -- the same place where a 70-year-old Christian woman was stripped naked, savagely beaten, spat on, and paraded in the streets to jeers, whistles, and yells of "Allahu Akbar" -- rioting Muslims burned down 80 Christian homes on the rumor that Christians were trying to build a church.[1] "No one did anything and the police took no pre-emptive or security measures in anticipation of the attacks," said Bishop Makarios. He is also on record as saying that Christians are attacked "every two or three days" in Minya, and that the authorities are always turning a blind eye, if not actually aiding or enabling the attacks.

Even the much-touted new law that purports to allow Christians to build churches has been criticized by Christian clergy, activists, local human rights groups, and Christian members of parliament. They say it still continues to discriminate against Christians, including with security provisions that subject decisions on whether or not a church can be built to the whims of violent mobs...

Tags: Terrorism

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