The ongoing persecution of Egypt’s Coptic Christians—including the unprecedented attack on St. Mark’s Cathedral, among other incidents—is highlighted in the latest monthly report by the Gatestone Institute on the global persecution of Christians.
According to the report, April was “one of the worst months for Christian Copts.” On April 5, six Christians were killed near Cairo after a dispute between local Muslims and Christians escalated. Afterwards, what the report called a “collective punishment” spree against Christians resulted in “the injury of at least 20 other Copts, an Evangelical church being set on fire, and an attack on a Coptic church.”
“Two days later, St. Mark’s—Coptic Christianity’s holiest site—came under assault by Muslim protestors and even state security forces, resulting in the deaths of two more Coptic Christians,” Raymond Ibrahim wrote for Gatestone.
Additionally, the report documents further attacks against Coptic Christians in April, including the attack on Amir Ayad, who was nearly beaten to death during a protest against the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as the abduction of several Christian children who were held for ransom. Six-year-old Cyril Yusuf Sa’ad was killed despite his family’s paying a ransom of 30,000 Egyptian pounds.
Gatestone also reported that there were several noteworthy verbal and physical attacks against Christian churches worldwide in April, including in the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Turkey. Notably, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the top Islamic official in the country, declared that it is “necessary to destroy all churches in the region.” Meanwhile, in Turkey, officials there declared that a 13th-century church, the Hagia Sophia of Tabizon, would become a mosque again after having been a museum for decades.