On the morning of Sunday 11 December, a bomb exploded in a church in Cairo. At least 25 were killed and 49 wounded. Here’s what we know so far:
Image: REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
1. It happened near the biggest Coptic church in Cairo.
The bomb exploded in St Peter’s church, a chapel adjoining St Mark’s Cathedral, the largest and main Coptic Cathedral in Cairo.
“The explosion shook the place … the dust covered the hall and I was looking for the door, although I couldn’t see anything … I managed to leave in the middle of screams and there were a lot of people thrown on the ground.” Emad Shoukry told Reuters.
Egyptian security officials reportedly said that an explosive device with around 11 kilograms of explosives was placed in the chapel, exploding around 10am during Sunday Mass. Continue reading
Boko Haram, al-Shabaab – Radical Islam’s other home
Radical Islam is widely known to be active within the Middle East and North Africa. Yet in Nigeria, Islamic extremist group Boko Haram has been labelled the world’s deadliest terror organisation. Compared to the war against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, al-Shabaab’s war in Somalia is virtually unheard of. While we know al-Qaeda works in places like Afghanistan, Australian missionaries Ken and Jocelyn Elliot were kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Burkina Faso.
Islamic extremism is on the rise in Sub-Saharan Africa, yet it remains relatively unknown. Continue reading
This blog is from Open Doors Australia CEO, Mike Gore. Check out his blog here.
As I walked through the streets of Old Islamic Cairo everywhere I looked I saw passion, devotion and a spiritual discipline that I can’t help but acknowledge… sometimes it’s in the wrong things even the wrong God!
But every now and then as though a light piercing through the darkest of nights I saw it explode into life pointed in the right direction and at the right God and it was one of the most inspirational and contagious things I’ve ever seen.
True Passion causes people to risk everything… life, family, wealth and status all in a radical pursuit of God.
I recently spent time with 2 beautiful girls from Iran Miriam and Marzieyh. They were so desperate to share Christ with their nation they secretly distributed almost 20,000 Bibles in Tehran. Sadly, they were caught distributing these Bibles and placed into the notorious Evin Prison and sentenced to death by hanging. Continue reading
We asked our CEO, Mike, to tell us what has challenged or encouraged him in his faith this year. These were his answers…
1. Indonesia: ‘We will not stop hunting Christians’
‘We will not stop hunting Christians’ – these have to be some of the most chilling words I heard from last year, words used by extremists after they had burnt this church down. This image really brings to life the reality of persecution in Indonesia. It’s an image that for me really conveys stress, anxiety, pressure and fear.
2. Egypt: 21 Christians killed, Believers respond with love Continue reading
Christians around the world have expressed their condemnation of the tragic death of 21 Coptic Christian men in Libya in February. The Egyptian church continues to be an unwavering light in the midst of this dark situation. A Christian leader in the country writes:
“I stand in awe before the one who once taught us to love beyond what is reasonable according to human logic. By teaching these words, our Lord Jesus has truly introduced a new hope to humanity that didn’t exist before. Hatred is obviously embedded into the human nature since the fall of mankind described in Genesis 3. However Jesus’ call to show love and forgiveness to enemies and persecutors caused victory over that fallen nature. Continue reading
One of the greatest assurances Christians have, no matter where they live in the world, is that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. What a wonderful promise. This week, particularly, many Christians in Egypt are holding desperately close to this love as they grieve the loss of 21 of their own.
A jihadist group linking themselves with the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS – formerly known as ISIS) released a video on Sunday 15 February showing the beheading of the Egyptian Coptic Christian men on a beach in Libya. The men were captured in two separate kidnappings – in December 2014 and January 2015.
Photo: World Watch Monitor
Demonstrators in Egypt hold up banner showing the faces of nine of the murdered Copts