A group of armed Muslim fanatics, who some have identified as Muslim Brotherhood members, attacked a church over plans to honor the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by terror group ISIS in the Egyptian village of Al-Our. The church's priest said that he made local police aware of plans for the attack, but the authorities offered no protection.
Fr. Makar Issa, the priest of The Virgin Mary Church in Al-Our village, told International Christian Concern: "I called the police many times and asked them to come to guard us but they came late and after their arrival they didn't guard the church. They stopped in the entrance of the village. Even still they allowed the cars of the attackers to enter the village and attack us and the church without any intervention from them to protect us," the priest said.
"I charge the responsibility of what happened to the policemen," he added, "and I accuse them of inaction, indifference and complicity." more >>
The government of Egypt has warned ISIS that it will not allow the terror group to "cut off the heads of our children" in response to the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has called on the Union Nations to authorize a resolution to allow military aid for Libya in the battle against ISIS.
"We will not allow them to cut off the heads of our children," Sisi declared in a radio speech, according to BBC News.
Libya is caught in widespread turmoil with rival militant groups battling for control, while the internationally recognized government has been forced to abandon the capital of Tripoli and move to Tobruk. more >>
Egypt has handed down death sentences to 183 people involved in the murder of 11 policemen and two civilians during the August 2013 mass protests. Human rights groups have pointed out, however, that the court has failed to hold a single police officer accountable for the deadly clashes.
"Today's death sentences are yet another example of the bias of the Egyptian criminal justice system," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui of Amnesty International. "These verdicts and sentences must be quashed and all of those convicted should be given a trial that meets international standards of fairness and excludes the death penalty."
"Issuing mass death sentences whenever the case involves the killing of police officers now appears to be near-routine policy, regardless of facts and with no attempt to establish individual responsibility," Sahraoui added. more >>
The Egyptian wing of terror group ISIS has left 30 security personnel dead in a series of bombings in the Sinai Peninsula, the deadliest such attack on the country in years. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has decided to cut short a trip to Ethiopia for the African Union summit on Friday following the killings.
The terror group bombed a military hotel and base in the provincial capital al-Arish, Reuters reported. Officials said that terrorists first fired rockets at police offices, before a car bomb exploded at the rear gate of the military base.
While officials placed the death toll to 30 as of Friday morning, they said there were at least five men in critical condition. More than 50 others were wounded. more >>
A team of scientists and scholars claim to have discovered the world's earliest-known version of the Gospel, dating back to the first century A.D., which was found on a sheet of papyrus used to make an ancient mummy's mask in Egypt.
Live Science is reporting that Craig Evans, a professor of New Testament studies at Acadia Divinity College in Nova Scotia, and an associated team of three dozen researchers and scholars have unmasked what is thought to be a written portion of the Gospel of Mark, that possibly dates back as early as 80 A.D.
Although most people think of Egyptian mummy masks being made of gold, Evans explained in a seminar that most ancient Egyptians, that were not pharaohs nor part of ancient Egypt's elite social class, were mummified with masks made out of used sheets of papyrus because that was the most cost efficient way for the families to preserve the bodies of their loved ones. more >>
With Islamic extremist attacks seemingly happening throughout the world on a regular basis, the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, delivered a groundbreaking New Year's Day speech at the highly-prestigious, 1000-year-old Al-Azhar University and urged Muslim imams to change radical rhetoric and lead a "religious revolution" that embraces peace.
With extremists groups like the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda killing thousands of innocent people in addition to the increase of radical attacks in other parts of the world, most in the international community no longer view Islam as "religion of peace," al-Sisi stated.
"Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants – that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!" al-Sisi asserted. "I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma [international Muslim community] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands." more >>