Today, Egyptian security forces broke up a silent candlelight vigil in Cairo held in memory of 21 Coptic Christians who perished in a New Year’s Eve suicide bombing at Coptic Church of the Saints in Alexandria. The bombing injured nearly 100 people. Since the attacks, Copts have clashed with Egyptian police.
As of this writing, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack although it is being speculated that al Qaeda either had it a hand in the attack or was the source of its inspiration.
It is not the first time that Egypt’s Christian community has been violently assailed. During Orthodox Christmas last year, seven Copts were killed and 26 were injured in a drive by shooting perpetuated by Muslims in the village of Nagaa Hamadi, approximately 250 miles south of Cairo. To make matters worse, several thousands Muslims burned and looted Coptic homes, businesses and churches during funeral services for the seven parishioners. Yet Egyptian authorities were utterly indifferent in their response which goes a long way in explaining the level of Coptic anger at this latest attack.
With Orthodox Christmas coming up later this week (January 6th), one must wonder if there will be more violence in store for Egypt’s beleaguered Coptic Christian community.