A chilling reminder of last year’s bus massacre—and a reminder of the threat against Egypt’s Christians. (Egypt Ranks no.17 in the WORLD WATCH LIST)

At least seven Christians have died and an additional 15 injured in Egypt on Nov 2nd after a violent attack on a group of Coptic pilgrims. The Christians were on their way to visit a desert monastery, when a group of masked gunmen stopped the bus and fired on it. The death toll is expected to rise.

Those injured in the attack were brought to three hospitals in the area, according to our sources on the ground in Egypt. Our field tells us that social media footage indicates a child is among the injured.

A source on the ground tells us that the attack was on two, church-owned buses. The driver managed to escape the scene and no one in that bus got hurt. The second, smaller bus was from a village in Minya and did not manage to escape. Our field tells us that the bus was traveling from the monastery with family members of a baby who had just been baptized.

Islamic State, which has vowed to target Egypt’s Coptic Christians, has claimed responsibility for the attack.

A bloodied bus door from the attack. Photo © Mina Mossad.

If this attack sounds familiar, this is the same place where a bus attack took place on 26 May 2017, killing 28 Christians. Local Christians are angry that an attack could take place in same place twice. “Why were they not protected?” asks Emad Nasif, a deacon in a church in Minya. “There seems to be an indifference to the safety of the Christian minority.”

“Heaven received yet another group of martyrs,” says Hanaa Youssef Mikhael, who lost her husband Ayad Habib Tawadros in the Minya bus attack in May 2017, and is mother of two survivors of the attack, teenagers Marco and Mina. She cries,“I am very sad about what happened. And I am startled. How is it possible that this happened again?”

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” (Romans 12:14-15)