Copts are not a “casual” target

After attacking Berlin, London, St. Petersburg and Stockholm, last Palm Sunday ISIS decided to attack Egypt — specifically, two Coptic churches in Alexandria and Tanta. Dimitris Cavouras is a citizen of Alexandria, networks manager at the Anna Lindh Foundation, and a spokesperson for the Greek community of the city. When the attack occurred, he was barely 400 meters away from the Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark.

Why Egypt and why the Copts?

“They didn’t only attack the Coptic community, but also the Egyptian society,” Cavouras told Aleteia. For him, it is no coincidence that the attack had this very specific goal. “The Coptic community is the largest Christian minority in Egypt,” he said, explaining that in Egypt, interfaith relations have gone astray, also because of different geopolitical pressures.

Shrines and places of worship, whatever religion they may be, are a clear goal for terrorists, Cavouras points out. This has been the case since the revolutions of 2011. “Shrines and temples are indeed a weak point, where terrorism can do a lot of damage. In this case, the Copts have paid the highest price.”

But going beyond religious violence, as the spokesperson himself acknowledges, terrorists are looking to intimidate the Egyptian government and threaten the country’s unity. In fact, a few days before the attack, journalist and activist Mustafa Sinjar declared on the website of the Center for Religious Pluralism in the Middle East that “having the Copts as an objective is a measure of pressure, since it has local and international repercussions for the Egyptian regime.” According to Sinjar, ISIS intends to divide Christians and Muslims by attacking the Copts, thus demonstrating “the State cannot defend them.”

What has motivated these attacks right now? “Now two Coptic churches have been attacked, adding up to a great number of both dead and wounded Egyptian Christians,” explains Cavouras. “But this doesn’t mean the situation has exactly gotten worse, as it was already very deteriorated,” he claims.

In fact, on February 24, hundreds of Christians left the city of el-Arish, only 100 kilometers away from Cairo, after the Islamic State sent a threat. Seven citizens had already been killed a few days before, and ISIS issued a video confirming the Coptic community as a target. On February 28, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared that such threat was “a cowards’ plan to destabilize the government, break national unity and instigate conflict.”

“We will heal this wound and we will be more united than ever”

A few days after the Palm Sunday attack, the Egyptian citizens are still strongly shocked. “We feel fear, anguish and sadness,” says Cavouras. So far, the government has declared three days of mourning and a 3-month state of emergency, which is the maximum the country’s constitution allows.

In spite of everything, according to the spokesperson of the Greek community in Alexandria, “the Egyptian society is convinced that it will overcome this difficulty, and that it will indeed help us all to stay united and build stronger bonds.” He himself explains how many friends, both Muslim and Christian, called him to know if he was well. Also, people have flooded nearby hospitals in order to donate blood.

Pope Francis, hope for Egypt

According to Dimitris Cavouras, the coming visit of Pope Francis to Egypt will not be affected by the attack. In fact, he assures, “the organizing committee of the event received a message confirming the trip is maintained as planned.”

In this regard, the spokesman stresses the importance of the visit of the Pontiff, on April 28. Although he admits it may be considered a provocation for terrorists, “it is a great symbol of hope and strength for the Coptic community.”

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. abyssum says:

    Thank you, Jim. for your powerfully incisive comment. I like it so much that I will post it on Abyssum as a stand alone comment.

  2. jgill1215 says:

    Dear Bishop Gracida,

    You are a great Shepherd and wonderful inspiration.
    I have enclosed a post I made on Crisis magazine and would love to hear your thoughts on it; if you care to.

    God Bless,
    Jim Gill

    Mr. Ruse,

    Thank you for your great sacrifice and great love for your fellow man and country.

    Lincoln said that if America was to perish it would have to be by our own hand or suicide. We have been committing “sexual suicide” in this country for 60 years or so. Those driving our sexual suicide are our elites in academia, media, corporate, and now government. They have been educated beyond their native intelligence and like the pride filled, sexually corrupted, obsessive-compulsives, that they are, seem driven to play God and eliminate the perceived “inequalities” related to the “pelvic” issues. Just like the Jacobins were driven to end political inequalities, and the Bolsheviks economic inequalities, and the Maoists cultural inequalities. And just like these previous revolutionaries had all hated God and admired the Devil should telegraph to us that our battle is really spiritual in nature. When you combine the seduction of ending inequality, once and for all, and combine it with their tactics of the end justifies the means, it makes for a potent cancer to the body politic. Or as Saul Alinsky emphasized, pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it ( abortion, same sex marriage, transgenderism, pederasty? ) RINSE and REPEAT. ” But Mao also genuinely feared that China was slipping in an inegalitarian direction and he would not stand by while a new elite took over the party and subverted the revolution. ” So the road to hell is paved with the ceaseless overcoming of inequalities.

    The left has handcuffed us intellectually and emotionally ( via academia, media, corporate, and now legally ) into accepting two powerful lies widely shared in this country which are who are we to judge and you can not legislate morality. When the elite left was redefining human life back in the 60’s based on inequalities they argued ” keep your rosaries off of my ovaries, if you don’t want to have an abortion then don’t have one, and who are you to say when human life begins. ” Now almost 60 years later we are forced to pay for them, Catholic doctors and nurses are now being made to perform them, and we are watching baby body parts being harvested for Lamborghini’s. When the elite left started to redefine the family based upon inequalities in the 2000’s similar arguments were made that what do you care what two men do in the privacy of their bedrooms and who are you to say what “true” love and family are; it has no bearing on how you live your life anyway. And now 17 years later our rights to assemble, speak, hold a job, practice our faith, adopt a child, etc. etc. are being curtailed or eradicated. Rinse and repeat for transgenderism and pederasty.

    So we have 60 years of evidence to dispel the LIES that we can not legislate morality and we can never judge another when the TRUTH of the matter is someone’s morality is going to be legislated ( and it might as well be Christ’s ) and we must always judge and be intolerant of the error/sin; while remaining tolerant and loving of those in error/sin.

    Since we still live in a democratic republic, I suggest we rid ourselves of these mental and emotional handcuffs, and start evangelizing and legislating as though our lives, liberty, and families depended upon it; because they do!

    Our Lady of Guadalupe, please intercede for us,
    Jim Gill

Comments are closed.