ISIS brutally murdered innocent Christians attending Palm Sunday yesterday morning.
Egyptians practicing Christianity are a targeted minority on any given day, but especially on the Christian holiday, Palm Sunday. Christians make up only about one-tenth of the entire population of Egypt, and attacks against these people has increased dramatically since 2013. The attacks were targeted towards Coptic Christians who congregated at churches in Tanta and Alexandria to celebrate the beginning of Holy Week. Two bombs exploded at the churches and 47 people have died so far.
Quickly after the explosion, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks and identified the suicide bombers as Egyptians nationals but Egyptian officials have yet to identify the bombers. Isis claims that they have not finished with their attacks yet, and have threatened to do more in a statement they issued. “The crusaders and their apostate followers must be aware that the bill between us and them is very large, and they will be paying it like a river of blood from their sons, if God is willing.”
Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared a three month stage of emergency, which has not always been a popular move in the past. Many times, a state of emergency gives law enforcement the ability to use restrictive safety laws and bypass the usual due process of law. Videos were released later of the attacks, which brutally depicts Christians singing in the church one moment, and panicked screams the next. The churches were left blood stained and havocked in both churches.
The most horrific aspect about this attack is that it is not an abnormal tragedy in Egypt. Christians in Egypt are used to being targeted for their faith. Pope Francis gave a solemn speech to his congregation this Sunday in St. Peter’s Square. “I pray for the dead and the victims.May the Lord convert the hearts of people who sow terror, violence and death and even the hearts of those who produce and traffic in weapons.” He is expected to travel to Egypt later this month to address the families who have lost their beloveds in this tragic terrorist attack.