Following the most recent attack on a Coptic church in Cairo on Friday 29th December, the Archbishop of Canterbury tweeted:
Coptic Christians suffer again from those possessed by evil. They are a peaceful community, giving much to Egypt. Their agony must be ours in prayer & advocacy. We pray for all killed & hurt, including the Muslim policeman. May they know strength from Christ who suffers with us.
Bishop Angaelos, the Coptic Bishop of London and member of the Anglican-Oriental Orthodox International Commission (AOOIC) tweeted
Another attack on #Egypt’s faithful and resilient #Coptic #Orthodox #Christian community in #Helwan on the outskirts of #Cairo. My statement http://bit.ly/2zOJsRo on this attack, and on my community’s response. Praying safety for all around the world over these coming days
The Anglican Communion News Service reported:
Eight Christians and a Muslim policeman have been killed in an Islamist terror attack on a church in the southern Cairo district of Helwan. Egyptian government officials say that a gunman attacked and killed two Coptic brothers in a shop, before moving onto the Mar Mina Church. Six Christians were killed here, along with an auxiliary policeman. The attack took place on Friday (29 December). The gunman was arrested after being shot by security forces. He is reported to have had an explosive device and a machine gun with 150 rounds. The country’s interior ministry said that the man was known to security services and was believed to have “carried out several terrorist attacks which resulted in the martyrdom of a number of policemen and civilians.” Two Copts were killed in a separate attack on New Year’s eve in Giza province
The policeman who was killed in Friday’s attack was part of an Egyptian government security operation at the Church. Authorities have stepped up security at churches ahead of Christmas celebrations, which is celebrated by the Coptic and other Orthodox churches on 7 January.
The increased security measures include the deployment of rapid reaction forces and combat troops along with technological solutions.
Today (Monday), the Associated Press news agency is reporting that two more Coptic Christians were killed in a New Year’s Eve attack on their off-licence in Giza province by a gunman shouting that the men were Christians. In total, more than 120 Christians have been killed by terrorists in Egypt in 2017. Egypt has seen a recent upsurge in violence by terrorists linked to Daesh. These latest attacks come just one month after 310 Muslims were killed in an attack on al-Rawda mosque in Bir al-Abed, North Sinai.
Responding to the attack, the Anglican Bishop of Egypt, Mouneer Anis, said that he was “deeply saddened” by the “cowardly terrorist” attack. He asked for people to pray for the bereaved families and those injured in the attack.
Bishop Mouneer also gave thanks to the national security operation, and the policemen who “showed great courage in fighting the attack.” He said: “it would have been much worse if it wasn’t for our brave policemen”.