Egypt: Four Christians killed at church wedding

October 24, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Egyptian churches have been targeted by Islamists since Morsi’s ouster

Egyptian churches have been targeted by Islamists since Morsi’s ouster

Egypt, October 23, 2013: Two girls, aged eight and twelve, were among four Christians killed in a drive-by shooting that targeted wedding guests as they left a church in Egypt.

Masked gunmen on a motorbike fired indiscriminately as people exited the church in Cairo on Sunday night (20 October). Two people died at the scene, with two others later succumbing to their gunshot wounds. The four were Mariam Ashraf (8), Miriam Nabil (12), Samir Fahmy (45) and Camilia Attiya (56), the mother of the groom. A number of others were injured in the attack.

On Monday, the authorities arrested five men in connection with the incident; one of them was said to belong to a terrorist organisation, while the other four were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy condemned the attack as a “despicable criminal act” adding:

Such vile deeds will not succeed in driving a wedge between the two components of the nation, its Muslims and its Christians.

An Islamist coalition including the Muslim Brotherhood also spoke out against the violence, blaming it on the Interior Ministry; it said that the ministry had been “busy pursuing peaceful demonstrators” rather than “bringing about the safety of Egyptian citizens”.

One church leader said that the church had been left without a police guard since the end of June.

Christians have suffered unprecedented violence at the hands of angry Islamists since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi at the beginning of July. Attacks against them and their property began immediately after his removal but ratcheted up severely following the dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-in protests by the authorities on 14 August.

The Brotherhood has destroyed scores of churches, Christian institutions, homes and businesses, and several Christians have been killed.

They have accused the Christian community of being instrumental in the protest movement that resulted in Morsi’s fall. Death threats have been issued against the leader of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, forcing him to go into hiding.

– barnabas team

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