The first bomber ran up the aisle of St George’s Church, Tanta, north of Cairo, during the morning service yesterday (9 April) and detonated himself near the altar. At least 30 people were killed and 56 injured. Soon afterwards, around noon, a second bomber blew himself up outside St Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria, as the congregation were leaving after a service. Three or four police officers, who had prevented the bomber entering the church itself, died in the explosion, as did at least 16 Christians. Forty-one people were injured.
Egyptian President Al-Sisi has strongly condemned the attacks and has opened the army hospitals to treat the injured free of charge. He has declared a three-month state of emergency in Egypt. This coming Sunday, Easter Day, the most important date in the Christian year, is likely to be chosen by Islamist terrorists as a day for further violence against Christians.
The head of the Church in Egypt sought to comfort believers, saying, “We are proud of our sons and daughters who have been martyred.”
Ongoing practical help needed
But practical help will also be needed, particularly for families who have lost their breadwinner. Barnabas Fund is already providing monthly support to the families of 21 Egyptian Christian men who were beheaded by Islamic State in Libya in 2015.
Will you stand alongside our newly bereaved brothers and sisters in Tanta and Alexandria, with a financial gift that we can forward through the Church in Egypt?
If you would like to make a gift, please direct your donation to 00-345 Victims of Violence Fund