Globe Trot: A deadly Palm Sunday in Egypt

International | ISIS continues its war against Coptic Christians
by Mindy Belz
Posted on Monday, April 10, 2017, at 11:26 am

EGYPT: ISIS bombed two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday. The first bombing took place at St. George Church in Tanta, killing at least 27 people and injuring 78. Ten days ago, a bomb was discovered and dismantled at the church.

The second bombing occurred at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, with the Coptic pope leading the Palm Sunday service, killing at least 44 and injuring scores. It was the single deadliest day of violence directed against the Middle East’s largest Christian community in decades.

The attacks took place four months after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 28, and just over a month after ISIS released a video vowing to wipe out Egypt’s Christian population and “liberate” Cairo. In 2015, Egypt’s Coptic Christians took center stage in ISIS aggression when the terrorists beheaded 21 Copts on a beach in Libya.

Save us, son of David
And save All the extremists from darkness and evil
Condolence and heal your church suffering and wounded in Middle East

—prayer posted on Facebook by pastor who works with Iraqi and Syrian victims of ISIS following the Palm Sunday attacks on two churches in Egypt

RUSSIA: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is taking a higher profile ahead of his visit to Moscow this week, despite tensions over last week’s U.S. missile strike in Syria. But British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has canceled his visit over “developments in Syria.”

SYRIA: In a speech following the missile launch, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley made the best case so far for a sound U.S. stance toward the Syrian conflict.

The number of leading Democrats supporting President Donald Trump’s decision to strike government forces in Syria is remarkable.

Also remarkable was the call for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to resign by Muqtada al-Sadr, the leading Shia cleric in Iraq (who sides with Iran and Hezbollah, which side with Assad).

Russian agitprop is back, with the Ministry of Defense, in a statement after the Khan Sheikhoun gas attack last week, claiming to have destroyed a chemical weapons factory in the area. A security expert explains why that simply could not be the case.

CHINA is offering concessions to avert a trade war with the United States.

NIGERIA: Boko Haram affiliates have abducted 22 women and girls in the northeast near Lake Chad and the Cameroon border. WORLD has documented 85 separate terrorist attacks between 2011 and 2016 in the Lake Chad Basin areas of Nigeria, possibly laying the groundwork for illicit oil operations.

POLAND still wrestles with the trauma of a 2010 plane crash that killed its president and other political and military leaders.

Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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