20 January 2018
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  • » 05/22/2017, 09.13

    EGYPT

    Cairo, 48 jihadists on trial for attacks on Coptic churches



    Defendants to appear before a military court. Of these, 31 are in prison under custody. The rest are still loose. Prosecutor says some of those detained include prominent members of the Islamic State in the country. The militants also responsible for the deaths of some policemen.

    Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Egyptian public prosecutor has sentenced 48 (presumed) militiamen or Islamic State sympathizers (SI) for ties with the three attacks on Coptic churches in recent months, where dozens of people died . Defendants must appear before the magistrates of a military tribunal. To date, 31 of these are imprisoned under a custodial order. The remaining ones are still on the run.

    In total, since last December, at least 75 members of the religious minority (about 10% of the total population) have been killed by Islamic fundamentalists. These include the victims of the explosions at churches last month and the faithful who died in the context of the attack on the Coptic cathedral of St. Mark in Abassiya, Cairo, in December.

    In the hours after the attacks, Daesh [Arabic acronym for the Islamic State] claimed responsability and threatened more violence against the minority in the country.

    The escalation of violence had also made many fear the cancellation of Pope Francis's apostolic journey in Egypt, scheduled for late April. However, the pontiff wanted to respect the initial program by meeting with the president of the Republic al-Sisi, the great imam of al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayeb, and celebrated a mass in front of tens of thousands of faithful.

    In a statement published  yesterday, Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek claimed that some of the suspects were ring leaders within local IS cells. Recently, they had spawned some cells in Cairo and in the southern province of Qena, with the specific aim of striking the Coptic churches. The militants, the magistrate adds, would also be responsible for the deaths of eight police officers at a checkpoint in the Egyptian western desert in January.

    The Islamic State has threatened new attacks against the Coptic Egyptians, one of the oldest Christian communities outside the Holy Land. In the country of the Pharaohs, one of the most populous Muslim nations in the world, the minority is subject to cyclical wave of attacks.

    In response to confessional violence, President al-Sisi proclaimed the state of emergency for three months.

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    See also

    14/07/2017 09:31:00 EGYPT
    Threat of attacks forces Evangelical and Coptic Churches to shut down activities

    The measure, in force for the months of July and August, motivated by fear of terrorist attacks. Pilgrimages, group trips, holidays cancelled, but religious functions will take place without any variation. Armored vehicles and snipers preside over places of worship. Anglican Pastor: We pray "for the security and stability of our country".



    27/05/2017 10:28:00 EGYPT
    Egypt mourns more Christian victims. Caught between anger and prayer, citizens cry out for security

    The testimony of a survivor: "They asked us to proclaim the Muslim faith. We refused. Then they opened fire. " Protests mount across the nation accusing authorities and the government of [timid] fight against terrorism. Muslims and Christians queue to donate blood. The first funeral celebrated yesterday.



    08/05/2017 09:25:00 EGYPT
    North Sinai, a 50-year-old Christian executed by the Islamic State

    Nabil Saber Ayoub was shot dead in a barber shop in the late evening of May 6. Daesh threatens violence against Christians; people and property targeted. Also found the corpses of a father and his two sons, previously abducted. Behind the execution the accusation of "collaboration" with the authorities.



    05/05/2017 14:49:00 EGYPT - VATICAN - ISLAM
    Catholic Church Spokesperson: Pope in Egypt, gift of peace and bridge between Christians and Muslims

    For Fr. Rafic Greiche Francis has "erased" the distances between people and faiths. A visit of "immense importance" after the attacks on churches: "It has brought joy to everyone". Too soon to say if it will change something with al-Azhar but "we are on the right path". Muslims affected by the "modesty" of "a man of God". For Catholics, an invitation to "unity". 



    28/04/2017 09:18:00 EGYPT - VATICAN - ISLAM
    Egypt is in festive mode (and on full alert) ready to welcome Pope Francis

    The President of the Republic al-Sisi personally supervising the security apparatus. Cairo wants to show itself as a tolerant, fraternal and welcoming country. Today, the intervention at al-Azhar peace conference. Over 35,000 people (accredited) for tomorrow's Mass at the aeronautics academy. More extremist threats against Christians in Minya.





    Editor's choices

    EGYPT – LEBANON
    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


    CHINA
    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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