- With at least 20 attacks against churches, Christian schools and orphanages, Minya
Governorate is the part of Egypt where Islamists struck with greatest
violence and brutality.
Islamists", one resident said, "burnt and destroyed everything. Their goal was
to erase all the traces of a Christian presence; even the orphanages were looted
the Prince Tadros el-Shatbi Church, the armed Islamic extremists turned their
attention to two homes for disadvantaged children located near the parish
church, residents said.
They stole church
offerings, clothes, and children's games before torching the entire building.
The fire lasted over 5 hours.
the source said, "the children were taken to safety before the arrival of the
Like other Christians
sites, the two homes that housed hundreds of orphans are now a pile of rubble.
The criminals did
not only destroy the two orphanages but also the homes of some families working
for the orphanages as well as a nearby art gallery that sold objects and artefacts
made by orphans to raise money.
40, is the orphanage guard. He, too, grew up as an orphan at the facility. He witnessed
the Salafist attack.
of people are they? Even unbelievers would not attack an orphanage," he
Islamists raged particularly
against anything that symbolised the Christianity and modernity, including
After they left
the building, the terrorists burnt nearby shops and schools, such as the St
Joseph Coptic School, which is run by nuns, a pharmacy and a restaurant. Anti-Christian
graffiti were sprayed on the walls along a road.
A few days after
the massacre, the guard said that Copts wrote a message on the wall of the
orphanage in response to the militants' insults that read, "Despite of what you
did, we ask God to forgive you," and "God exists."
According to a
teacher at St Joseph, the attack will have a major impact on Christians' daily
teachers," she noted, "do not know when the school year will start. The school is
open to Christians and Muslims and has taught hundreds of children from rural
areas, many of whom were housed in the two orphanages."