Among other forms of “retaliatory terrorism,” some 80 Christian churches were attacked in Egypt immediately after the June 30 Revolution, which saw the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi.
And now that Egypt has sentenced to death hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters for the widespread terror they launched on the nation after the people’s revolution, the Brotherhood and its supporters are, once again, retaliating by attacking Coptic Christian minorities and their churches.
[On]Friday — the day when Muslims meet for prayers, the day when their imams incite attacks on churches and other forms of terrorism — in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, “Muslim protesters attacked a Coptic Orthodox Christian church on March 28. Four people were killed in the attack on the church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael. Among the dead are a 25-year-old journalist and a Coptic Christian worshipper. When Egyptian security forces intervened, violence spread throughout the surrounding neighborhood. Muslim radicals are frequently whipped up into frenzy by their religious leaders on Fridays when they gather for prayer.”
Among other things, the attackers set fire to parked cars and opened fire on the church itself.
According to eyewitnesses, Sameh Merry, a Coptic Christian woman, was “murdered by Muslim protesters when they noticed that she had a small cross dangling from the rear-view mirror of her car. Other witnesses claim that she was killed because she was in possession of a firearm. Coptic Orthodox Bishop Raphael expressed condolences over the deaths.”
It’s certainly plausible to believe this woman was specifically attacked because of her Christian cross. Anecdotes of Christians being targeted and mistreated because of the cross are many and across the entire Islamic world (see pgs. 84-94 of Crucified Again). Recent examples can be read here, here and here.
VOP Note: The ministry of interior issued a statement saying four people were killed in clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and security forces in Ain Shams in east Cairo on Friday.
Multiple reports can be found that Morsi supporters around the country took part in demonstrations by Islamists opposing the recent decision of former Field Marshal Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to run in the upcoming presidential elections.
The ministry of interior said it arrested more than 100 that day.
Ain Shams, a strong base for the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. In recent months it has witnessed intense confrontations between the supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and security forces.
A journalist from the independent Dostour newspaper, Mayada Ashraf, 22, was among the dead as she was shot covering the demonstrations in Ain Shams.
Also among the dead is a Coptic woman, Mary George, who was reportedly stabbed to death by pro-Morsi supporters in the same area.
It is disappointing that there is little being reported by the Western media, who once again remains silent. It should also be noted that little is said of the Christian factor relating to this story in a majority of reports that have been published.
Coptic Woman ‘Martyred for the Cross’ — ‘Body Torn’
Ibrahim also reports that
On his Twitter account, Coptic Bishop Raphaeil, who also serves as Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Christian Church, just wrote:
Oh how lucky you are, Mary, you who are beloved of Christ. They tore your body because of the Cross. Yet they offered you the greatest service and gave you a name of honor as one who attained the crown of martyrdom.
The bishop also quoted Christ in the Bible, “Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2).
In the above report there are conflicting difference on the reason Mary was murdered.
Ibrahim relays in his report,
It’s clear which version of events the Coptic bishop believes occurred — considering he asserts that she was martyred for the cross.
Incidentally, let us briefly contrast the Christian and Muslim notions of martyrdom. Koran 9:111 declares:
Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah , so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah ? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.
Even the authoritative Hans Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary translates shahid (Arabic for “martyr”) as “one killed in battle with infidels.”
On the other hand, Christian martyrdom has always meant being killed — as opposed to killing — on behalf of the Christian faith.
And this is precisely the definition that for centuries has applied to Egypt’s Copts, till the present moment. You can also read his report here