Coptic Christians in Egypt have been experiencing heightened persecution in recent times. Attacks against Coptic communities have especially increased during Christian holidays.
CBN News reports that at least 10 people were killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on a Coptic Christian church in a south Cairo suburb.
Authorities are currently investigating the incident and have closed off the area surrounding the church. There was initial discrepancy in the report of the death toll.
Samir Gerges, a witness to the attack, said the church gates were closed when the gunfire started, but bullets still penetrated the building.
Another witness, Raouth Atta, also commented on the attack: “Once the gunfire was heard, the gates were closed immediately,” she told The Associated Press over the phone. “People were terrified and wanted to check on their families in other buildings of the church. We stayed inside for 30 minutes before we were able to get out.”
CBN News reports that Egypt has been under a state of emergency since April when Islamic extremists attacked Coptic Christian churches on Palm Sunday, killing 47 people. Last December, another attack was carried out on Egypt’s Christian community, killing 29 people.
Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population.
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Publication date: December 29, 2017