Good Friday and Easter services took place in Egypt without incident, following the twin bombings and massacres within two Coptic Orthodox churches on Palm Sunday. Reportedly, during the Good Friday and Easter services police surrounded Coptic churches in battle gear and blocked off streets in front of churches in an effort to thwart any further attacks.
The Bible Society of Egypt reported, “As with previous attacks, the sense of revenge is minimal as families embrace martyrdom as a gift from and to God. What is happening in Egypt is not a 2000-year-old legend, but a modern, living testimony to the power of the Christian faith. Please pray for the Church of the Martyrs, as they seek to faithfully apply the teachings and example of Jesus to forgive and carry on. Pray for patience in the midst of sorrow and grief. Pray for victory over bitterness and anger. Pray for our church and government leaders.”
On Palm Sunday, April 9, two Coptic church congregations in Egypt were targeted by terrorist attacks as church members gathered to celebrate Palm Sunday. These attacks killed at least 49 people and injured over a hundred others. The first attack occurred in Mar Girgis (St. George’s) Coptic Orthodox church in Tanta, Gharbiya when a bomb exploded amid the congregation killing at least 27 on site. A few hours later a suicide bomber approached St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the town of Alexandria, detonated his bomb, and killed at least 18 on site. ISIS has claimed responsibility for these attacks.
Coptic Christians in Egypt have long been victims of discrimination and have faced rising violence against their communities, including targeted murders and deadly attacks.
We ask for your prayers for these communities and the families of the victims. Please pray for their comfort and perseverance in the Lord. As terrorism continues to plague Egypt and surrounding regions, please pray that the church would stay united and firm in Christ.
The head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros stated, “These acts will not harm the unity and cohesion of the people.”
The Egyptian spokesman on foreign affairs also tweeted: “As we grieve the tragic & heartbreaking loss of Egyptian lives, it is still a failed attempt against our unity. #united_on_PalmSunday”
We know that unity is only possible through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Amidst the violence and pain, may this truth permeate these desperate circumstances and strengthen the hearts of His people.