Date: April 18, 2013
Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, CP Middle East, International Christian Concern
Hundreds of people gathered at St. Mark's Cathedral in Abbassia, Cairo, on April 7th for the funeral of four Christians who were killed during an uprising of inter-religious violence in the nearby community of Khosous two days earlier. (Two Muslim men had also died in the conflict.) As the mourners were leaving the service, they were pelted with stones by a growing number of angry Muslim rioters. This quickly escalated into a massive attack on the cathedral involving firearms, petrol bombs and tear gas. Two other Christians died and over 80 people were injured during the riot which lasted five hours. According to reports, some Christians had retaliated in the mounting conflict. As a result, Egyptian officials have arrested four Christian men.
Tensions leading up to the assault ignited Friday when youth spray-painted inflammatory symbols, including a swastika, on an Islamic institution. This led to a quarrel with onlookers in Shubra el-Kheima, located just north of Cairo. The argument spiralled into a street fight involving automatic weapons. Meanwhile, a local imam called on Muslims who owned weapons to "Kill the Christians and cleanse el-Kheima (of) infidels" during Friday prayers. The mob then attacked a Baptist church and damaged a nursery run by St. George Coptic Church, in addition to destroying and looting several Christian-owned businesses. To learn more about what Christians in Egypt are facing, go to www.persecution.net/egypt.htm.
Please pray for God's peace to infiltrate these areas of conflict, as well as the hearts of the people involved. Ask Him to comfort all who are grieving the loss of loved ones and minister healing to the injured. Also pray that the believers would keep their eyes on Jesus, persevere in their faith, and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; 12:1-3). On behalf of all Egypt's citizens, may the Lord guide the leaders of this nation to promote true justice and equality by honouring Him.