(CNA/EWTN News) Egypt is not part of the Holy Land but it does have a spiritual connection to Christians in the Holy Land. After all, the Holy Family took refuge in Egypt from Herod’s violence. Now, the violence Christians seek refuge from is in Egypt. Islamist terrorists have attacked many Christian churches as well as individuals. And these attacks have not even spared Bishop Youhannes Zakaria Badir, Coptic Bishop of Luxor. Radicals tried to set fire to his residence and would have succeeded had not the army intervened.
It should be made clear that the Christians in Egypt, like Christians in the Holy Land, do not hold all Muslims responsible for the violence. Rather than a religiously motivated set of attacks, these events are terrorist-driven.
Bishop Badir said that Christians are “willing to suffer, to lose their churches and homes,” and that they “accept it is for the good of our country and of all Christians and Muslims of Egypt,” according to CNA.
Another Bishop, Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak stated Aug. 18 that “out of love for our country and in solidarity with all lovers of Egypt, both Christians and Muslims,” that he will not label the crisis “a political struggle between different factions.” Rather, he insisted, the conflict is “a war against terrorism,” said CNA.
While violence against Christians in Egypt is linked to Islamists, the Muslim Brotherhood has officially stated that it “stands firmly against any attack – even verbal – against churches.” Thus far, their words have been unheeded by Islamist terrorists who continue to attack Christian people, businesses and churches.
The Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land gives thanks to God that this violence has not spread to the Holy Land and pray that it will end quickly and justly in Syria and Egypt. We also pray that Christians remain steadfast in the Holy Land; we pledge our continued financial, spiritual and social support.