Horrifying terror attacks on Sunday that left 44 dead and scores more injured at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt have yielded a variety of reactions from both President Donald Trump and members of Congress.
“So sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. U.S. strongly condemns,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “I have great confidence that (Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi) will handle situation properly.”
…confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 9, 2017
Other politicians also expressed lament over the event, while affirming their commitment to defeating the Islamic State, the infamous terror group that claimed responsibility for the targeted Palm Sunday attack.
House Speaker Paul Ryan took to twitter to write, “Praying for victims of the heinous attack on Coptic Christians celebrating #PalmSunday in Egypt. ISIS must be defeated.”
Praying for victims of the heinous attack on Coptic Christians celebrating #PalmSunday in Egypt. ISIS must be defeated.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) April 10, 2017
Others in Congress also went on to describe the attack as “heinous” and to detail their horror at what had unfolded.
Two distinctive unifying themes emerged among many of the politicians’ responses: the notion that no one should fear for their lives while worshiping God — and the affirmation that the Islamic State must finally be defeated.
“No one should fear for their life because of their faith. Praying for the victims of the tragic Coptic church attacks in #Egypt,” Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley wrote. And Rep. David B. McKinley added, “The world must stand united in the fight against terrorism.”
— Rep. Joe Crowley (@repjoecrowley) April 10, 2017
I am very saddened to hear of the attacks in Egypt. The world must stand united in the fight against terrorism.
— David B. McKinley (@RepMcKinley) April 9, 2017
Here are some of the other reactions:
Horrified at the attacks that occurred in Egypt targeting worshippers on Palm Sunday. My prayers are with the victims and those affected. https://t.co/9Gp1Q7ceqp
— Rep. Juan Vargas (@RepJuanVargas) April 10, 2017
Praying for the victims in the Egyptian church attacks. Violence at places of worship must never be tolerated. https://t.co/aZ53uDG0IS
— Rep. Roybal-Allard (@RepRoybalAllard) April 10, 2017
I am horrified by the terrorist attack on Coptic churches & Coptic Christians in Egypt. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.
— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) April 10, 2017
— Cory Gardner (@SenCoryGardner) April 9, 2017
As The New York Times noted, the twin suicide bombings constituted “one of the deadliest days of violence against Christians in Egypt in decades” and left President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declaring a state of emergency for the next three months.
As Faithwire has reported in recent weeks, Coptic Christians have been under increasing danger in Egypt. Sunday’s deadly attack came after the Islamic State released a video in February vowing to further eradicate Christians from Egypt; the disturbing 20-minute video pledged additional violence, chaos and death.
Coptic Christians make up 10 percent of Egypt’s population and have always been targets of militants, but more specifically in recent years, as attacks on this minority group have ramped up. The problem became particularly pronounced after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi overthrew Muslim Brotherhood-aligned leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
While el-Sisi has been said to be friendly to Christians, problems on the ground have not improved and many Christians have subsequently felt disenchanted.
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