Coptic Christian attack: burials in Egypt for seven murdered pilgrims

Coptic Christian attack: burials in Egypt for seven murdered pilgrims

Mourners carry a coffin during the funeral of Coptic Christians who were killed in an attack on November 3, 2018 in Minya, Egyptimage rights
Reuters

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Hundreds of people gathered in Minya for the funeral of six Coptic Christians killed by mills

Coptic Christians have gathered in Egypt to attend the funerals of a group of pilgrims killed by armed men on Friday in a monastery.

Mourners expressed grief and anger as they left the church of Prince Tadros in the town of Minya, where the bodies of six victims lay in white coffins.

A seventh had been buried on Friday.

The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind the attack, the latest in a series of extremists about the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt.

Egypt's Copts, who comprise the majority of the Christian minority in the Muslim majority, have in the past accused the authorities of having made only cautious gestures to protect them from such attacks, including one in the same place, in May 2017 28 People died.

The Friday attack on two buses near the monastery of St. Samuel the confessor in Minya has resulted in at least seven more wounded – reportedly including children.

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On Saturday, people showed their anger and frustration: According to the AFP news agency, the coffins were carried away from the church, accompanied by cries "with our souls, with our blood, we will defend the cross!", While security officials – sent around the community to guard – were booed.

"What do these terrorists want, do they want us to hate Muslims?" said Michel, 23, who lost a neighbor in the attack.

"Should I carry a gun with me when I pray or when I'm at home because I could die when I go to church," he asked.

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Reuters

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The group rode in buses near a local monastery when they were attacked

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Reuters

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Some believe that the government has not done enough to protect their community

Others did, however, rather conciliatory.

"We want to tell you [the attackers] that we still love her, even though it happened. But we have a question – why are you doing this to us? We do not commit any evil, "said the priest of the Mar-Girgis Church, Rad Noseer Mitri, the mourners, the Reuters news agency said.

"We serve our church and our nation in complete honesty, we do not play any role in terrorism or hatred, we only play a role in serving our church and our country like everyone else around the world."

Bishop Makarios of Minya, who thanked the security staff, promised the congregation that they would "not forget the promises of officials, including the President of the Republic, to punish the criminals."

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AFP

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Egypt's Coptic Christians have been repeatedly attacked in recent years

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AFP

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A seventh victim was buried on Friday night in an Anglican ceremony

"There is a mixture of sadness and pain, sadness when these painful events are repeated, and pain because Copts are part of this home and are part of their structure," Bishop Makarios added.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi held a minute of silence for the victims and called the Coptic Pope Tawadros II. To his condolences.

Who are the Coptic Christians?

The Coptic Orthodox Church is the most important Christian church in Egypt. While most Copts live there, the church has about one million members outside the country.

The Copts believe that their faith lasted until about AD 50. Back when the apostle Mark visited Egypt. The head of the church is called Pope and is considered the successor of St. Mark.

The Coptic Church split in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon from other Christian denominations, in a dispute over the human and divine nature of Jesus Christ.

The current Coptic Pope Tawadros II. Had his own social media ban last month when he closed his official Facebook page.

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