Terror Attack on St. Mina Church in Helwan


An Imam Urges Worshippers to Rescue the Church


Imam Taha RefaatOn Friday, December 29, a terrorist attacked Mar Mina (St. Mina) Coptic Orthodox Church in Helwan, south of Cairo. It occurred at about 10:30 in the morning, as Christian worshippers were finishing mass and leaving the church. The terrorist, Ishmael Abrahim, aged 34, arrived on a motorbike with a machine gun. He first shot at a Christian shop that sold coffins in front of the church to distract the security. Then he shot the policeman guarding the church, and tried to get inside the church while the other guards closed its doors. He succeeded in killing 9 Christian worshippers who had already left the church. One of the people in the mosque next door heard the shooting, and informed the imam about the church was under attack. The imam, Taha Refaat, called the Muslim worshippers to go and rescue the church. The crowds came out of the mosque to help the church. They found one of the neighbors attacking the terrorist, so they ran to help the man arrest him.

Although this is a very sad story because of the lives lost, it is also an encouraging story to many of us. It helps us understand that the vast majority of Egyptian people are against terrorism. When the Muslims came to help defend the church, their action displayed the nature of the Egyptian people. The interview with the terrorist revealed that he joined the Muslim Brotherhood, became more militant, and participated in other terrorist attacks in different parts of Egypt. This proves that fighting terrorism requires not only taking security measures, but also tackling the ideological issues that brainwashed this terrorist and others like him. Most terrorist groups emerged after the 25th of January 2011 uprising in Egypt, and during the Muslim Brotherhood reign. Please pray for Egypt and its war against terrorism.


Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis

Diocese of Egypt With North Africa and the Horn of Africa

Bishop Mouneer profile pictureResponding to the terror attack on St. Mina Church in Helwan, which left ten dead and many people injured, the Bishop of Egypt, Mouneer Anis, has said he is “deeply saddened” by the “cowardly terrorist” attack. Bishop Mouneer convicted the attack asking everyone to pray for the families who lost their loved and the injured. 

Bishop Mouneer gave thanks to the national security and the policemen who showed great courage in fighting the attack.

It would have been much worse if it wasn’t for our brave policemen

Let us pray for protection and safety in Egypt.