The jihadist genocide against Christians has spread to Egypt.
Nearly a dozen jihadist militants opened fire on a bus packed with Christians en route to a Christian monastery. It was a massacre, slaughtering at least 26 Christians including many children and injuring dozens more.
As CBS News reports,
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has an affiliate in Egypt, based in the northern Sinai peninsula, which has claimed a number of recent attacks targeting Coptic Christians, and Egyptian security forces.
In April, ISIS suicide bombers struck hours apart at two Coptic churches in northern Egypt, killing 44 people and turning Palm Sunday services into scenes of horror and outrage at the government that led the president to call for a three-month state of emergency.
The genocide of Christians we have witnessed in Iraq and Syria is expanding both in scope and breadth. The world must wake up. Christians are being beheaded and crucified. Women and young girls are raped and enslaved. Children are cut into pieces.
The horror is unthinkable. Unspeakable. Yet we must speak.
In just days, we are sending our latest letter to the incoming president of the U.N. Security Council – detailing not only the atrocities in Iraq and Syria, but also how the genocide has expanded. We write:
In February 2015, the Islamic State “released a video of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt being executed on a Libyan beach”. And, in April 2015, it executed at least 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. “One group is beheaded on a beach along the Mediterranean Sea, while the other group is shot in Southern Libya”.
In June 2016, “[e]ight suicide bombers launched two waves of attacks on the Christian town of Al Qaa in northeastern Lebanon”. The New York Times reported that “[f]our attackers blew themselves up in the town before dawn, killing five people and wounding a dozen others, according to local officials. Four more attacks took place at night as residents prepared for funerals to be held on Tuesday morning, wounding 11 more people”. “‘People are stuck in their houses, not daring to go out and fearing more suicide bombers,’ the Rev. Elian Nasrallah, the priest of the town’s Mar Elias Church,” told reporters. “He had been in his home at night, preparing his message for the funerals of those killed that morning, when he heard an explosion and saw a ball of fire erupt outside the church. ‘We’re living in terror in this town,’ he said”. According to reports, “nearly all experts believe it was carried out by ISIS fighters who infiltrated al-Qaa from nearby Syria”. “Make no mistake, the[y] targeted [the] village for one reason: it is Christian”.
In July 2016, Islamic State “soldiers” slit the throat of an 85 year old Catholic priest in a church near Normandy, France, during Mass. Reuters reported that according to the Islamic State’s news agency, Amaq, the Islamic State claimed the two attackers as its “soldiers”. According to French officials, “[o]ne of the two suspects in the attack was known to anti-terror authorities after attempting a trip to Syria”. The spread of Islamic State genocide against Christians — and its direct link to Syria — should come as no surprise: “For two years, the black-clad jihadist army has called for attacks on Christians in Rome, throughout Europe and across the world. It has even called for the assassination of Pope Francis”.
In February 2017, ISIS released a video making reference to its December 2016 bombing of a Christian church in Egypt, and described Christians as its “favorite prey”. Just weeks later, ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombing of two churches on Palm Sunday in Egypt that killed 49 and injured more than one hundred people. Most recently, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the failed attack on Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai. While the attack failed, the Islamic State “has vowed more attacks against Christians in Egypt”.
It is genocide. It must end. As the atrocities expand, however, the world has remained silent. It’s deafening.
Just a few days ago, we filed another formal legal submission with the U.N. Human Rights Council, and next month we plan to deliver an oral intervention at the U.N.
Take action with us as we go to the U.N. with our demand: 1) recognize the ongoing genocide of Christians and other religious minorities and 2) protect the victims.
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