For Immediate Release-

Coptic Solidarity condemns the cowardly attack by armed gunmen on Mar Mina Church on December 29, in Helwan, a suburb south of Cairo, Egypt. This incident is just the latest in an increasingly dangerous environment for Egypt’s Copts.

At least two gunmen attacked worshippers leaving a Friday mass, when they were unable to gain entrance to the church. They killed at least 10 individuals including two policemen. Additionally, a reported eight Copts were injured.

Earlier in the day, a gunman murdered two people at an appliance shop owned by a Copt in Helwan. It is believed the gunman is the same who later attacked Mar Mina parishioners.

Egyptian security forces arrived during the attack and killed one of the gunmen and took the other into custody.

It was reported that at least one of the attackers came from an area near Etfeih, the town where fanatics, with the complicity of State Security, attacked last week a church after a rumor that a bell-tower would be built. This proves, once more, that terrorism against Copts in Egypt is homegrown and is often sanctioned by state organs.

Egregious acts of violence against Copts receive the most media attention. Yet, it is the mundane daily discrimination, oppression and harassment, which has the most pernicious effect, and which receives virtually no media attention or condemnation resulting in a war of attrition on Copts. It is no less heinous in breaking Copts down into a state of submission, hopelessness, and drives the dramatic rise of Coptic emigration from their homeland.

To address this ongoing persecution of the Copts, Coptic Solidarity supports a newly introduced Congressional resolution, H. RES. 673 which condemns attacks on Egypt’s Copts and seeks their equality. The outright denial and bizarre accusations against Members of Congress and Coptic Solidarity in a plethora of Egyptian media reports demonstrates the need for continued attention and advocacy to achieve security and equality.

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Photo Credit: Relatives of Coptic Christians grieve as during the funeral service of victims of the attacked on Mar Mina church in Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. At least 10 people, including eight Coptic Christians, were killed after unidentified gunmen opened fire outside a church in a south Cairo suburb, Egypt’s Health Ministry spokesman said Friday. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)