Islamists have taken over a southern Egyptian city, vandalizing its Christian institutions and terrorizing its Coptic population.
Since Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown on July 3, Islamists have ruled Dalga, a city of 120,000 people, 20,000 of whom are Christians. Immediately after Morsi was forced to step down, attackers plundered Christian institutions, stealing ancient churches icons and electrical equipment and burning the buildings after they had finished.
Egypt's interior minister survived an apparent assassination attempt on his motorcade in Cairo on Thursday. The country continues to be embroiled in violent clashes between loyalists to ousted President Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and the military government, although the Muslim Brotherhood has denied any involvement in Thursday's attack.
The attack took place as Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim, who is in charge of the country's police force, traveled with his motorcade through Cairo's Nasr City district, where his official residence is located. A bomb exploded in Ibrahim's motorcade, and although Ibrahim was not harmed, at least 10 other people were injured, and police claim to have killed two of the attackers.
It is still unclear how the bomb was detonated; some media outlets are stipulating that the bomb was attached to a car, while others are saying it was thrown from a nearby building, landing in the center of the motorcade. The attack may have also involved a suicide bomber and additional shooters, but more will not be known until authorities are able to comb through the damage. Photos posted on social media websites show a large explosion area with charred vehicles and debris littering the streets. more >>
Egyptian judges have recommended the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic organization behind ousted President Mohamed Morsi, as hundreds of its members have been arrested for leading the protests against the interim government, which has caused clashes resulting in hundreds of deaths.
The panel of judges accused the Brotherhood of operating outside the law, The Associated Press reported, and recommended that its headquarters in Cairo be closed down – the same headquarters that were attacked by anti-Morsi protesters in early July.
Morsi has not been heard from since he was ousted by Egypt's military, but reports note that he is being held in detention at an undisclosed location. more >>
Open Doors USA is starting a campaign asking for $430,000 in emergency aid for suffering Egyptian Christians who in recent weeks have been heavily targeted by Islamists, who have murdered believers and burned down churches, schools and orphanages.
"The attacks intensified two weeks ago when most of the persecution of Christians (occurred) - they are being blamed by the Muslim Brotherhood for ousting President Morsi. We saw Christian killed – they have been targeted by Muslim Brotherhood fanatics, and they've been caught in the middle, as it usually happens in many cases when Christians are minorities in Middle Eastern countries," Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra said in a phone interview with The Christian Post on Friday.
The persecution watchdog group says that in the last two weeks, there have been reports of seven Christians murdered and 17 others kidnapped, while hundreds have been injured in clashes with supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi. Another 212 privately-owned Christian shops and homes and 95 church buildings have also been attacked, as well as Christian orphanages, schools and Bible book stores. more >>
H.H. Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria has said there is pressure on Christians in the Middle East that has led to the migration of large numbers of Christians from the region.
The pope added that Egypt is experiencing tough times that would be followed by a new birth. He pointed out that Copts are deeply rooted in the land of Egypt and they reject any foreign interference in the affairs of Egypt in form and substance.
"The acts of violence against Christians in Iraq, Syria and other areas may be interconnected. There is a kind of pressure on Christians in the Middle East, and a large proportion of Christians have already migrated from Iraq," Pope Tawadros said during an interview with Hadith el-Youm program. more >>
Elmar Brok, chairman of European Parliament's foreign affairs committee, has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of inciting the ongoing situation in Egypt.
In a statement Thursday, the committee condemned all forms of violence and terrorist attacks against police in Sinai as well as the destruction of churches, the targeting of Christians and attacks on government installations and museums.
"The era of former President Mohamed Morsi witnessed a proliferation of radical Islamic groups. Although Morsi was democratically elected, he had taken a number of undemocratic actions during his reign," Brok said, after a lengthy meeting with the EP's foreign affairs committee. more >>