AFRICA/EGYPT - Massacre in front of a Coptic church. Bishop Antonios Mina: "they want to eliminate our smiles during the Christmas holidays"

Friday, 29 December 2017 oriental churches   middle east   terrorism   martyrs  


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - An armed assault on the church of Mar Mina, carried out in the Helwan City district on the capital’s southern outskirts, by at least two terrorists on the morning of Friday 29 December, caused several victims also among civilians. "At the moment" Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Emeritus of Guizeh, tells Agenzia Fides "a person from the security force, six civilians and one of the two terrorists were killed. The other terrorist was wounded and taken to hospital. There are at least four other wounded". Other government sources, relaunched by national and international media, speak of at least ten victims.
The umpteenth attack against a Coptic church falls on the days when the Orthodox Copts are preparing to celebrate New Year’s Eve and then Christmas. In recent days (see Fides 20/12/2017) the presence of President Abdel Fattah al Sisi was already announced during the Christmas Mass, which, following the Coptic calendar, will be celebrated in the night between 6 and 7 January by Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II in the Coptic cathedral (still under construction).
"Unfortunately" underlines Anba Antonios Mina "for us the dead risk becoming numbers. We risk getting used to the attacks, and our heart risks becoming stones. We no longer think of the lives behind the numbers, how much sadness enters those houses, ruining the serenity of families. It is not true that terrorists carry out attacks to scare tourists: they want to eliminate our smile. They want us all to live in sadness. For this reason reviving our joy is a miracle that only Jesus can do". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 29/12/2017)