Details continue to emerge following a horrific May 26 terror attack in which Islamic militants murdered at least 30 Coptic Christians on a bus in Egypt, with survivors now speaking out about the horrors they endured during the murderous rampage.
The victims have said that they were on their way to a monastery when they heard gunshots and chaos immediately broke out.
“In a second [the gunmen] got inside and shot at every living and moving object they could see,” Boshra Kamel, the 56-year-old bus driver, told the Washington Post. “Even the little children were targets to them.”
Kamel was shot numerous times, but survived by pretending to be dead. Tragically, others weren’t so lucky.
A few of the other survivors shared similar accounts with the Post, with Samia Adly, 56, explaining that her son, husband, granddaughter and nephew were martyred on the bus; her granddaughter, Marvy, was only 4 years old.
Another individual named Nadia Shokry said that the Christians who survived the initial round of gunfire were told that they must recite the shahada (the Islamic proclamation that there’s no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger), become Muslims or be murdered.
People on the bus reportedly refused and, according to Kamel, the extremists became more and more angry and violent as the Christians appealed and prayed to Jesus. From the Post:
After the militants boarded the bus, they asked survivors of the first round of gunfire to “either recite the Islamic shahada creed, live as practicing Muslims, or be killed,” said Nadia Shokry, 54, who was shot three times.
Defying their attackers, the passengers began to pray. “The more we prayed for Christ, the angrier they became and started shooting again and more violently,” Boshra said.
“We told them that we are Christians and we will die Christians,” Adly said as she clutched a cross that a monk had given her at the hospital.
In the end, though, the grieving passengers — who wouldn’t abandon their Christian faith — have forgiven the assailants.
“We forgive them,” Shokry told the Post. “I pray God touches their hearts and changes them so that they see the right path.”
Read more of the responses here.
As Faithwire previously reported, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the latest in a string of assaults targeting the Coptic Christian community in Egypt.
Among other deadly attacks, two Coptic Christian churches were also targeted on Palm Sunday, leaving dozens dead. That assault left many Christians angry and fearful that the Egyptian government isn’t properly protecting them, especially after previously reports indicating that violence against Copts appears to be on the rise.
(H/T: Washington Post)