Coptic Christians attending Sunday mass were attacked by a suicide bomber at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo, killing 25 and injuring dozens more. The attack has been one of the deadliest attacks Egypt’s Coptic Christians have faced in years.
The government has named 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafik Mohamed Mostafa as the perpetrator of the incident. No group has claimed the attack, although authorities suspect the Muslim Brotherhood or the Islamic State to be behind the deadly bombing.
St. Mark’s is important to the Coptic faith. Not only is it the seat of the Coptic Orthodox pope, Pope Tawadros II, but it is named after Saint Mark, Jesus’ apostle. Saint Mark is considered the founder of the Coptic faith. He traveled to Egypt in 50 A.D. Relics of Saint Mark’s life are held in a shrine within the cathedral.
The Egyptian population is comprised of approximately 10% Coptic Christians. This is one of the largest Christian groups in the Muslim-dominated Arab world. Copts in Egypt have looked to President Sisi to protect them from religiously-motivated violence, but are having doubts following Sunday’s bombings. Angry demonstrators have appeared outside of the cathedral, shouting insults at the Sisi administration.
Please pray for Egypt’s Coptic Christians as they fear persecution from Islamic extremists. Pray that the government will find and prosecute all those involved in the attack, and that measures will be taken to provide protection to the Christian minority. Pray that all our brothers and sisters in Christ in Egypt will be filled with peace by the Holy Spirit.