Christians in Egypt have been requested by the security services to cancel all trips and activities outside of church buildings until at least the end of July.
Representatives of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Presidency of Protestant Churches in Egypt last week confirmed that their churches are abiding by this request.
The security services have told the churches they have intelligence that Muslim extremists are planning attacks on Christians, and on army and police personnel.
A few days after the churches called a halt to outdoor activities, a church guard in Alexandria was attacked by a man he had prevented from entering a church building (pictured). On 15th July the guard, Mina Fouad Zakhary, stopped a young man who had tried to enter the gateway of the Saint Mark and Saint Peter Church, and asked him why he wanted to go in. The young man then took out a razor blade and cut the guard’s neck. Other guards nearby intervened and apprehended the attacker. The guard survived the attack.
In the last eight months more than 100 Coptic Christians have been killed in attacks on church groups and individuals.
MAY BE CIRCULATED TO GENERAL MAILING LISTS, OUTSIDE ORGANISATIONS, AND QUOTED FROM FREELY IN REPORTS CITING “MIDDLE EAST CONCERN” AS THE SOURCE OF THE INFORMATION.
Christians request prayer:
a. for safety from extremist attacks for Christians and other Egyptians
b. for a speedy recovery for the church guard Mina Fouad Zakhary, and for others recovering from injuries sustained in previous attacks
c. for all who are grieving for loved ones killed in recent attacks on Coptic Christians
d. that the government will provide proper protection for Christians and other Egyptians, and that it will deal with the violence (and causes of the violence) in a sustainable manner
e. that those responsible for perpetrating these attacks will be brought to justice, and will repent of what they have done