Many in the ancient community complain that very little has changed in their lives since el-Sissi took office in 2014, especially in rural areas where Muslim radicals frequently attack Christian homes and businesses over a range of issues, including the construction or restoration of churches, land disputes or sexual affairs between members of each community.
CAIRO, Egypt – An Islamic State group affiliate in Egypt released a video Monday showing the suicide bomber who killed nearly 30 people when he attacked a packed church in December and vowing more attacks on the country’s Christians.
A narrator says in the 20-minute video that the Egyptian Christians are the extremist group’s “favorite prey.”
The video shows footage of Egypt’s Coptic Christian Pope, Christian businessmen, judges and priests who either speak of the need to protect the minority or use derogatory terms to refer to Egypt’s Muslim majority.
The narrator says Christians were no longer “dhimmis,” a reference to non-Muslims in Islam who enjoy a degree of state protection. Instead, the group describes the Christians as “infidels” who are empowering the West against Muslim nations.
“God gave orders to kill every infidel,” one of the militants carrying an AK-47 assault rifle says in the video.
Egypt’s Coptic Christians, who make up around 10 percent of the population, have been always a favorite target of Islamic extremists.
Attacks on churches by Muslim mobs increased since the 2013 military overthrow of an Islamist president. Christians overwhelmingly supported the army chief-turned-president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, and extremists have used such support as a pretext to increase attacks against them.