Report: Church Attacked in Egypt; Christians in Crossfire
In Egypt, an attack took place at Mar Mina Church in Port Said’s al-Manakh Tuesday, as a masked gunman opened fire and escaped, according to the state-run news agency, MENA.
On Monday, unknown assailants attacked Port Said’s western seaport and the province’s traffic police department. Another attack on Saturday left a priest dead in North Sinai. Gunmen reportedly killed priest Mina Aboud Sharween as he walked in the Masaeed area of El Arish.
The attacks have occurred just days after Egypt’s army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, whose supporters are protesting the army’s actions. Pro-Morsi supporters are following through with attacks on Egypt’s Christians as retaliation for the coup.
Some Jihadist leaders have been quoted by media as saying that they vow to fight to defend Morsi’s legitimacy. According to CairoScene, the pro-Morsi legitimacy coalition called for mass protests on Tuesday for the “martyrs.”
Morning Star News reports that in various locations throughout Egypt, mobs of enraged pro-Morsi supporters have attacked Christian homes, businesses, and church buildings.
Less than 12 hours after the Egyptian army announced that it had expelled Muslim Brotherhood-backed Morsi and his cabinet from office, reports of attacks against Christians by Morsi supporters began. As the attacks increased, the national police service on Friday notified church leaders to be on the lookout for license plate number of several cars that informants indicated had been packed with explosives by terrorists. Police reportedly informed Christian leaders that the cars were headed toward churches in Cairo and the surrounding areas.
“This is just the beginning,” said one Coptic Christian woman from Upper Egypt. “They won’t be happy until they steal everything we own and kill us all. How can anyone be full of so much hate? If I took my eyes off God, I would shrink and die.”
Following an attack on Wednesday on an evangelical church, Al Esiah Church in Delgia, the pro-Morsi mob reportedly moved on to St. George Catholic Church in Delgia, where they looted and set fire to church buildings.
Later that day, a group of Islamists attempted to attack the main Coptic cathedral in Qena, but the military counter-attacked. The Islamists then reportedly moved on to attack Christian-owned homes and businesses in the area as well as the Church of the Holy Virgin in the town of Marsa Matrouh, but were repelled by the military.
On Friday, a Muslim was killed in a fight with a Coptic Christian in Naga Hassan. In the ensuing rioting, Muslim villagers went on a rampage, looting and burning Christian homes and businesses.
Police in the area have asked Copts to leave their homes until the fighting ends.
According to a report at Gatestone Institute, Christians are being kidnapped and held hostage for ransom money.
An Egyptian Morsi supporter, enraged by the leader’s ouster and scapegoating Egypt’s Christian minority, asserted, “I am a religious [Muslim] Egyptian lady. I tell the Christians one word: You live by our side! We will set you on fire! We will set you on fire!"