Coptic Christians attending a funeral service Sunday for four Copts killed two days earlier in an anti-Christian rampage were in turn attacked themselves by at least 200 Muslim rioters.
The incident, which started with a few dozen men pelting the mourners with stones, quickly escalated into a massive attack against Christians at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia area of Cairo involving firearms, flash-bang grenades, tear gas, fire bombs and other improvised weapons, besides cars set ablaze.
A Morning Star News reporter observed that police took more than an hour to respond, and when they arrived, they did nothing to stop the attack. Instead, most stood and watched men throw rocks at the Christians gathered at the gates of the cathedral compound or hurl stones over walls at the Christians trapped inside. more >>
The Coptic Diocese in Los Angeles, Calif., which is headed by H.G. Bishop Serapion, vehemently condemns the attack that occurred at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo on Sunday, resulting in the deaths of several innocent people.
The first attack happened in the city of El-Khoso, in Qaliubiya, which left five Copts and one Muslim dead. The second attack took place during the funeral for those killed at St. Mark's Cathedral in Abbassiya on Sunday.
"It is with profound sadness that we watch the unfolding events in Egypt," Bishop Serapion said in a statement. "We pray for the souls of the martyrs and comfort of their family, speed recovery of the wounded and the peace of the Church and Egypt." more >>
In the wake of the unprovoked attack on mourners during a funeral service at Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral, numerous leading political figures have come out and denounced such acts of violence and blamed complicit security forces for choosing who does and does not get protection under Egyptian law.
"What happened yesterday in El-Khosos City in Qaliubiya [Greater Cairo Governorate], and today in front of the St. Mark Cathedral in Abbasiya, is an unfortunate tragedy that points to the failure of the society and the state to deal with citizenship issues and protecting citizens' lives," Amr Moussa, a former presidential candidate, said in a statement.
Others denounced the rise in sectarian violence that has been fostered under Egyptian President Mahmoud Morsi, which is predominantly targeting Coptic Christians. more >>
One of Egypt's leading religous leaders, Dr. Mounir Hana Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Egypt and North Africa, has publicly condemned the attacks that targeted Cairo's St. Mark Cathedral and Khosos' church Sunday, leaving several dead and scores injured.
"Such attacks could lead the country into the abyss of sectarian sedition and deteriorate the social, economic and political conditions of the country. These actions could worsen the image of Egypt in front of the international community," Hana said in a statement.
Egyptian President Mahmoud Morsi had previously stated that all religious minorities in Egypt would be protected under the law while insisting that Egypt was a homeland for all. more >>
A leading member of Egypt's Dostour Party, a group set up to promote the 2011 Egyptian revolution, has warned that the recent attacks on Christians at Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral is a ploy to terrorize and intimidate the country's Christian population in response to opposition to current Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his supporters.
Shady El-Ghazaly Harb revealed that current religious minorities in Egypt are not protected by the governing body. They also accused Morsi's government of only enforcing bans and prosecuting violators who target Morsi or his Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
Harb revealed to Mideast Christian News that the Muslim Brotherhood had deliberately excluded people who do not accept the government's plans to monopolize power in the country, citing a recent situation that arouse at the Sheikhdom of Azhar. Followers of Egypt's Al-Azhar do not support Morsi or the Muslim Brotherhood. more >>
At least two Christians died and 89 others were injured on Sunday when rioters launched a massive attack on Christian mourners who were staging an anti-government march following a funeral for four Christians killed in sectarian clashes on Friday.
Health Ministry official Khaled el-Khateib said Monday that two had died and at least 89 were injured in violence outside the St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo's Abbassia area on Sunday, according to The Associated Press.
One of the deceased was identified as Mahrous Hanna Ibrahim, but the identity of the other Christian was yet to be ascertained, officials said. more >>