By Emily Watt | 19 February 2020
Egypt | Second Bus Attack Near The Same Monastery
Christians in Egypt suffered from a second bus attack in under two years on the same desert road to a monastery in Minya, south of Cairo.
The attack took place on what should have been a joyful day. On Friday 2 November, a Christian family were celebrating the baptisms of two children, which had taken place in the morning at St Samuel’s monastery.
Whilst celebrating and listening to Christian songs on their journey back home, guns were fired from a vehicle that came alongside their bus, with four masked men.
The 28 Christians on board took cover, including Sameh Nabil, who was driving the bus, and Ibrahim Youssef, who was sitting next to him.
“When the shooting started, all the passengers started screaming,” Youssef said. “I got off my seat and sat down on the floor of the bus to avoid the bullets, and others were doing the same. They were terrible moments. We just screamed and asked God to protect us.”
The Second Bus
The attackers were distracted by a minibus approaching from the rear, about 300 metres behind Nabil’s bus. This allowed Nabil’s bus to escape. Some of the family sustained serious injuries but no-one was killed on his bus.
On the other bus, seven members of one family, including two children, were killed.
Nabil and Youssef grieved for the victims and were grateful to God for their miracle escape.
“God protected us and rescued us from death. I was driving at an excessive speed, while sitting on the floor of the bus, and still the bus stayed steadily on the road,” Nabil said.
When the Nabil’s bus arrived at the checkpoint at the beginning of the desert road, “There were two buses waiting to go to the monastery from there, but I warned them to go back,” Nabil said.
This time police were manning the checkpoint, unlike in the early hours of the morning when there were none.
Same Location, Second Attack
Local Christians gathered at the scene of the attack to protest and express their outrage over another bus attack. Last year, in almost the same location, a bus was attacked and 28 Christians lost their lives.
“We are surprised that this could happen again. Saint Samuel’s monastery is an ancient place that receives both local Christians and tourists. Why wasn’t it secured better?” a local church leader asked.
“[The government] promised they would build a hard surface on the 25km-long road leading to the monastery [to help drivers get away], and to add street lights… and strengthen the mobile network in this area to help prevent another attack." Amir Fakhry, a local human rights activist said.
“That didn’t happen. So, the incident was repeated, with the same terrorists and in the same place,” Fakhry said.
In February 2017, the Islamic State named Egypt their next target. Please pray for the church in Egypt.
- Pray with Christians in Egypt, that they will trust God in all things.
- Pray for the families and friends of the victims, that they will know the peace that is found in Jesus Christ.
- Pray for Government in Egypt, that they will live up to their promises and support persecuted Christians.
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