Officials in Cairo have confirmed that at least seven Christians were killed by terrorists recently as they returned from a baptism ceremony at a Coptic monastery in Egypt. This ranks as the most serious attack on Egyptian Christians in over a year! A spokesman from the Coptic Church reported that six of those killed were members of the same family and an additional 18 people, including women and children, were wounded in the attack. The attackers opened fire on two buses traveling mid-afternoon near the Monastery of St Samuel the Confessor in Minya. The attack took place approximately 160 miles up the River Nile from Cairo, the church spokesman said. A local resident named Hilal told Reuters news agency that he rushed to the scene after hearing about the attack and saw the militants on the road. Hilal stated, “Some of us came to try and block the road. There were three four-wheel drive vehicles and the militants opened fire ... The militants wore white thobes and checkered head-dresses.”
Islamic State Claimed Responsibility
The terrorist group now known as the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) claimed responsibility for the deadly attack. The terrorist group’s Amaq news agency issued a statement later the same evening indicating “The jihadists targeted them with light weapons and killed 13 people and injured 18. This operation comes as revenge for our chaste sisters that were arrested by the apostate Egyptian regime, and we promise more attacks to all who aid it.” This despicable act is, sadly, in keeping with the track record of the Islamic State in this region. The Islamic State and affiliated terror groups have also claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Christians, including one that killed 28 people in almost the same spot in May 2017. Christians comprise only about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of 100 million people and have long complained of discrimination. Many Christian leaders have accused Egyptian police of negligence after this and other attacks, and claim that authorities often go easy on Muslim assailants after sectarian violence.
Relevant Bible Passages
The Bible clearly warns us that in the last days numerous false prophets will arise and will deceive many (Matthew 24:11). Certainly, Mohamed the false prophet of Islam is among the most deceitful! Frighteningly, radical Islamists often validate their actions by claiming adherence to their scriptures. Muslim doctrine teaches that Jesus is merely a prophet, not the incarnation of God in the flesh and that He will return at the end time to teach the Muslim religion to Christians and convert them to Islam. In the meantime, Islamic doctrine teaches that it is permissible to kill your enemies if they do not convert to Islam! It is difficult – if not impossible – for many of us to imagine this type of persecution. Yet Scripture teaches that such persecution will only intensify as the end times draw near. Matthew 10:22 warns that Christians “shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (KJV). In this verse, Jesus is warning His disciples, and His followers in our modern time, to prepare for persecution.
PRAY: Pray for the families of those killed in this recent attack and pray for safety for those Christians innocently caught up in the violence in Egypt. Pray for stability for the Egyptian government and for their efforts at stopping such attacks.