An Egyptian military court has handed down a staggering 17 death sentences for those involved in a series of brutal attacks beginning in December 2016 that left more than 80 Christians dead and 150 wounded.
Egyptian state media reported that the convicted individuals were members of the Islamic State who plotted the vicious attacks which claimed the lives of so many faithful followers of Jesus.
According to The New York Times, some 19 other defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday, while 9 were given 15 years, and one received a 10-year term. The first major attack was perpetrated in December 2016, when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest in Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral, killing 29 people.
A few months later, on Palm Sunday, suicide bombers struck once again, massacring 45 people during a twin attack at two Coptic Churches in Northern Egypt. In June, another brutal slaying occurred when a group of Islamist gunman opened fire on a bus carrying Coptic Christians to a Monastery. Some 26 people, including children, were executed in cold-blood during the attack.
A fourth atrocity took place in December 2017, when a gunman opened fire on a Cairo church, resulting in nine deaths.
Egypt’s Coptic Christians make up roughly 10 percent of the country’s population and have been subject to increasingly severe persecution over the past few years as Islamic State fighters, facing defeat elsewhere, have continued to pour across the borders.
(H/T: The New York Times)