Bishop Angaelos comments on church attacks in Egypt

Nick Mcbride
April 15, 2017

Egypt has beefed up security outside churches across the country ahead of Easter Sunday in an attempt to restore a sense of security for the country's Copts amid a war on the minority declared by ISIL.

The Islamic State group said it was behind the bombings at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria, and threatened further attacks against Egypt's Christian minority.

Three Muslim female police officers are being praised as heroes after attempting to save the lives of Coptic Christians that were being targeted in two attacks that took place in Egypt on Sunday.

"Given the current circumstances and our solidarity with the families of the dead, we are going to limit our celebrations to Easter mass", a statement said. ISIS claimed the attacks through its Aamaq news agency, less than two months after issuing threats in a video promising to rid the country of "idolaters".

The bishop said the representative of Egypt security he met advised the state and the people cooperate to improve protection at churches.

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The Palm Sunday attacks were carried out by suicide bombers and led to the death 45 people and injury of more than 140 others. It's not about Muslim attacking Christians. No. "United States strongly condemns. I have great confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly", Trump wrote on his official Twitter account.

Sunday's first bombing at the Mar Girgis church in Tanta, north of Cairo, killed 28 people. However, Egypt has also announced a three month-long emergency, which accords draconian powers, from sweeping arrests to scouring the media for dissidence - a newspaper was pulled off the stands for criticising the government - to Sisi.

Abdullah, who had worked for an oil company, was linked to a "terrorist" network - a cell which carried out a previous bombing of a Cairo church in December that killed 29 people, the ministry said in a statement.

The Palm Sunday attacks, the single deadliest day for Egypt's Christians in decades, rattled the community and prompted messages of support from overseas, including from Pope Francis, who is set to visit Egypt in the coming weeks, and President Donald Trump. We also pray for our Coptic Orthodox sisters and brothers who continue to be resilient in the face of ongoing and escalating attacks, and who resist the urge to react vengefully or reciprocally.

Israel meanwhile closed its Taba border crossing to Egypt after its anti-terrorism office warned of an "imminent" militant attack there, underlining fears of more violence.

Other reports by VgToday

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