Date: August 23, 2013
Written on the walls in southern Egypt: "Love your enemies, we will pray fervently." (Image courtesy 8thirty8/Facebook)
Egypt (VOM) ― Christians in Egypt today are experiencing increased attacks against them in conjunction with the government's attempt to disperse two pro-President Morsi camps calling for his re-instatement. At least 250 people have been killed and 1,000 wounded during the raid.
Egypt has declared a month-long state of emergency after scores of people were killed and more wounded during the protests and raid earlier this month.
Forty church buildings have been attacked and set on fire. Three of the churches were in Minya, two in Fayoum, and one in Sohag. At the same time, Christian-owned businesses in Sohag and Assuit were targeted by radical Muslims. A convent called Al Raai Al Saleh in Suez was also set on fire.
In the midst of the chaos, Egyptian Christians have still seen the hand of God at work. According to a worker with Voice of the Martyrs, the Good Shepherd Monastery in Suiz city was surrounded by a mob of radical Muslim Brotherhood members earlier today. The monastery was full of women and children. Miraculously, everyone was able to flee to safety as the monastery was attacked and burned down.
Sources report that Mohammed El Beltagy, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said "operations against Christians will start now." The Muslim Brotherhood routinely threatens Christians, chanting and protesting against them. A VOM worker said that the Muslim Brotherhood leaders are seeking to disrupt the national unity by creating sedition between Muslims and Christians.
These recent attacks against Christians are not the only ones that have occurred in the past weeks. In another church on Aug. 3, hundreds of Morsi supporters surrounded a church in Sohag and fixed al-Qaeda's flag on the church. In Menia city the same day, over 50 shops and homes owned by Coptic Christians were burned and looted by radical Muslims. Over 20 people were injured in those attacks.
In July, two Christians were killed in northern areas of the Sinai Peninsula. On July 18, two churches were attacked during the funeral procession for two Muslim Brotherhood members. In the Luxor province, the newly-appointed head of police is suspected of intentionally failing to respond to an incident on July 5 in which four Christians were killed.
In response to the declared emergency, the government is enforcing a curfew in eleven different cities from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. Christians hope that the worst of the violence has passed.
Egyptian brothers and sisters request prayer that an effective rule of law and order will be established to benefit all citizens, and that those affected by the violence will know the healing touch of Jesus. The Voice of the Martyrs is continuing to actively monitor the situation in Egypt and will provide assistance as needed.