Egypt (SAT7) — Millions of Coptic Orthodox Christians
gathered in Egypt on January 6 to celebrate Christ's birth
according to their calendar.
according to published reports, shortly after an 11:30 p.m. church service
concluded in the Nile community of Naga Hammadi City (located near Luxor), an
unknown assailant opened fire on a crowd of worshippers, killing five Coptic
Christians and a police officer. Seven
others were injured.
"This is truly a horrific attack, one specifically targeting
Christians on one of the holiest days of the year," says David Harder, Communications Manager for SAT-7. "Our prayers go
out to the families of the victims.
SAT-7 regularly receives prayer requests from Christians in Egypt and
in other Middle Eastern countries, asking for viewers to pray for peace in the
communities. We broadcast these requests
on our SAT-7 ARABIC channel and urge all our viewers to pray."
Over the past year, Christians in Egypt have suffered what
appears to be an increasing number of attacks.
"Christians in Egypt are very concerned about these violent
incidents. At SAT-7 we want to help the
larger community to understand the beliefs of their Christian neighbors,
encouraging them to live together in peace and mutual respect. We urge Christians around the world to join
with us in praying that God will touch the suffering and will somehow turn
these incidents around, so that what is meant for evil will instead be
used for good, eventually bringing positive changes to affected communities so
that such attacks will become a thing of the past," adds Harder.
Egypt isn't the only place where these attacks have occurred during the Christmas season. On
December 24–Western Christmas Eve–a church in Mosul, Iraq was
bombed. According to published reports,
two Christians were killed in that attack, and five were injured.
SAT-7 has been broadcasting a record number of Christmas
specials throughout the holiday season.
These programs have been designed and are being broadcast for both
Middle Eastern Christians who celebrate the Western Christmas (on Dec. 25) and
those marking the Eastern Christmas (celebrated today, on Jan. 7).