News on the Bombings in Egypt from the Egyptian Press

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The pace of violence has returned to escalate again following a decline for a while, with three terrorist attacks, blown by terrorist groups against the Egyptian state.
The first attack targeted a security checkpoint in Haram area, Giza, killing 6 policemen on Friday; secondly, an explosion hit a police vehicle in Kafr el-Sheikh governorate, on the same day, killing a citizen and injuring three policemen; and thirdly, a terrorist attack targeting Botroseya Church, in the vicinity of Saint Mark Cathedral on Sunday, killing 25 martyrs and injuring 53 people.
Observers link the 3 incidents to the final verdict against prominent Islamist militant Adel Habbara, the arrest of Osama, son of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, the killing of terrorist Abdallah Azzam in Qalyubiya, and killing of three members of the terrorist group Hasm in Assuit.
The attack on Botroseya Church is also regarded as a punishment to Copts for supporting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Other analysts reject linking the arrest of Osama Morsi and the verdict against Habbara to the terrorist incidents, as these attacks have been planned previously; and they are taking advantage of a big security flaw, the perpetrators having studied the target for a while and implementing the attack after they found a security hiatus.
Some have put forward a different vision, as the incident comes in response to the accusations by terrorist groups to the Church of supporting President Sisi and the nation in all crises and fighting terrorism — doing so in order to destroy the unity of the nation and to try to suggest that the situation in Egypt is unstable.

Egyptian Christians, Muslims closer together in wake of martyrdoms in Libya, bishop says

topicCatholic World News – March 20, 2015

The 21 Coptic Christians who were slaughtered by the Islamic State in Libya are “true martyrs” and will be recognized as such, an Egyptian bishop has said.

Bishop Kyrillos William Samaan of Assiut told Aid to the Church in Need that the Coptic Catholic Church will follow the Coptic Orthodox Church in recognizing the 21 martyrs. “Pope Francis himself recognised them as martyrs,” he observed. “They were killed because they were Christians.”

Bishop Samaan said that Egyptian Christians have been moved by the response of the government to the killings. Egypt’s President el Sisi visited the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros to express his personal condolences; the prime minister visited the town from which most of the slain Copts came. The governor of that province has announced plans to build a church in their honor, and their village has been renamed “Village of the Martyrs.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM CATHOLIC CULTURE 

Situation Has Improved for Christians in Egypt, Says Open Doors CEO

Dr. David Curry is the CEO of Open Doors USA, an organization which advocates for persecuted Christians around the world. In part one of CP’s interview with Curry, he discusses ISIS’ surge in Iraq and its implications for Iraq’s remaining 500,000 Christians and its effects on neighboring Syria. This is part two of the interview where he shares with The Christian Post why 2014 has generally been a more peaceful year for the Egyptian church than 2013. Curry had recently returned from Egypt.

Bishop-General Macarius, a Coptic Orthodox leader, walks around the burnt and damaged Evangelical Church in Minya governorate

 

Bishop-General Macarius (R), a Coptic Orthodox leader, walks around the burnt Evangelical Church in Minya governorate, south of Cairo, August 26, 2013.

CP: What’s the situation like in 2014 for Egyptian Christians?

Curry: The situation has improved for Christians in Egypt.

CP: What do you attribute that to?

Curry: It’s been due to the willingness of the new government to protect Christian areas to allow for free expression of faith for Christians, for people to attend church in safety, to be able to associate themselves with their faith. I am encouraged; this is not a political statement for the government because I’m not an expert in political situations, but I can tell you that this is an improvement for Egyptian Christians; it’s stability that they welcome.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CHRISTIAN POST 

At Weekly Exorcisms, Egypt’s Muslims and Christians Unite Against the Demons

av5a6742Cairo’s best-known exorcist may be Christian, but his weekly exorcisms provide an unusual space for interfaith cooperation

Gunmen Fire at Church in Egypt; At Least 3 Die

An Egyptian Christian woman grieves for a relative killed during Saturday's bomb attack at the Coptic Orthodox church in AlexandriaCAIRO — Gunmen on a motorcycle sprayed bullets at a church in a Cairo suburb late Sunday, killing at least three people. The attack appeared to be one of the deadliest in months against Egypt’s Christian minority, security officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which was apparently aimed at guests attending a wedding, the officials said. At least 12 people were injured in the shooting, the officials said.

The killings signaled a broadening of the violence that has gripped Egypt since early July, when the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist and the country’s first elected leader, after widespread protests against his rule.

More than 1,000 of Mr. Morsi’s supporters have been killed during a campaign by the government that appears aimed at eradicating the former president’s Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.

More than 1,000 of Mr. Morsi’s supporters have been killed during a campaign by the government that appears aimed at eradicating the former president’s Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Some of Mr. Morsi’s sympathizers have singled out Egypt’s Coptic Christians as scapegoats for retaliation, saying they supported the military takeover, and have burned churches as well as houses, businesses and schools belonging to Christians. The authorities have done little to deter the attacks, or to identify those responsible.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES 

Only in Egypt: Muslims defending churches, Christians protecting mosques!

Sawy Cultural WheelCairo, Egypt-After a long stressful day due to increasingly crazy events and ever changing news, I had to quickly return home before curfew,  which the government imposed to reduce the chances of Muslim Brotherhood violence in the streets.

As I entered my home,  I heard the bells of the nearby church ringing in a strange way.  Next came screams and the sound of many gunshots.  I t old my children to stay away from the balconies, and got ready to defend my family against any possible attack.

But my curiosity as a journalist kept on pushing me to get out and cover the story despite the risk because I know that journalists are most targeted by the Muslim Brotherhood gangs, even more so than police and army members, because they are present in an unmarked way with no badges or uniforms and work to uncover the facts of the Muslim Brotherhood to the public.  The Brotherhood have already killed a dozen journalists and wounded many others.

Heading fast to the nearby church,  I noticed many of my neighbors, both Muslims and Christians, carrying knives, sticks and like me, scurrying to the church where the sounds of gun shots had stopped.  I saw man with a serious wound to is arm as his brothers put him into a car to go to the closest hospital.

Getting to the church, I had expected to see a large number of dead and injured people, and worried that the church would be torched.  But thank God, I found only 3 wounded with minor injuries in the hand and the head, wounds that were the result of citizens fighting with Muslim Brotherhood members before people quickly converged on the church, forcing to Brotherhood to retreat and run away.

There were hundreds of Egyptians of all ages. All of them made it clear they were willing to kill Brotherhood members if they turned up again. About half of them were Muslims.  A few Salafists, too, came to be with us as they live in the same neighborhood and refuse to attack the church.  I heard a lot of dialogues between Christians and Muslims.  I felt the warmth of real cohesion and unity against the new danger, and knew that there is no difference between our needs and destiny because everyone was there to protect the House of God.

FULL ARTICLE FROM CANADA FREE PRESS

Islamic Leaders Urge Egyptian Muslims to Protect Christians Facing Violence

Gaynutdin_islamThe Russian Association of Islamic Accord, which is also known as the All-Russian Muslim Board, has called on Egyptians to protect the country’s Christian population.

Mufti Farid Salman, head of the Ulema Council of the association, called on the Egyptian Muslim population to maintain the safety of churches in the country, to protect Muslim and Christian clergy and to “severely punish the extremists who sowed the seeds of chaos and revolt,” according to Interfax independent news group.

“It is unacceptable to tolerate the continuation of this orgy of Saran followers, who have burned down several dozens of churches and have looted monasteries in the past few days in an attempt to further fan the flames of this fratricidal war, cease the efforts of those to desecrate, destroy and loot numerous mosques and madrasahs [religious schools],” the mufti continued in a statement.

He accused the Muslim Brotherhood of using religious language to “open the gates of chaos and disasters.” He said the recent violence in the modern histories of Syria, the Palestinian territories; Sudan, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt all demonstrate the destructive impact of the Brotherhood on societies.

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CHRISTIAN POST