The Slaughter of Christians in Egypt
Three masked gunmen targeted and killed Bassem Attallah, a Christian man, 27, after identifying him as a Christian by the cross tattoo on his wrist. According to his older brother, Osama, 38, the siblings and a Muslim colleague, Muhammad, were walking home after work when three armed men, aged between 23 and 25 stopped them. “We thought they were policemen because they weren’t masked… They were wearing black jackets,” Osama recalled. “They approached us and asked Bassem to show them the wrist of his right hand, and when they saw the tattoo of the cross, they asked him: ‘Are you Christian?’ Bassem answered ‘Yes, I am Christian,’ and repeated that again in a loud voice.” The men then asked Muhammad his name and to show them his wrist. They saw no cross and allowed him to leave. On turning to and learning Osama’s name, which is popular among Muslims, and not seeing any cross tattoos on his wrist, they also allowed him to leave. “And then they shot Bassem in the head. I could not believe what happened to my brother. He fell on the ground in front of me and I was unable to do anything…. We lost a person dear to our hearts. My brother Bassem was a very good and kind man. He had a strong relationship with God. He was always reading in the Bible, praying and going to the church. He was loved by all people,” said grieving brother. The murder took place in Al-Arish, Sinai, which has been the scene of many attacks on Christians—including the murder of two priests and the mass upheaval of Christian villages—in recent years.
Separately, on New Year’s Day, which the Muslim calendar does not recognize or celebrate, two Christian brothers were gunned down in public by a masked man on a motorcycle. They died en route to a hospital; the murderer escaped. At the time of the attack, they were in or by another Christian friend’s store, which sold liquor. Coptic owned stores that sell liquor have been targeted previously by those who deem alcohol haram, or forbidden by Islam. Almost one year to the day, on January 3, 2017, a Muslim man snuck up behind a Christian shop owner in Egypt and slit his throat for selling alcohol.
Finally, more details concerning the Islamic terror attack on a Coptic church on December 29, which left nine dead, continued to emerge. One mother sacrificed herself in order to save her two young daughters. Nermin Sadik, 32, was walking her two daughters, aged 11 and 7, to Sunday school, when one of the Islamic gunmen ran up to her. When she realized what was happening and that he was about to open fire, she flung her daughters away and received a bullet. When the terrorist turned on the two girls, their mother, “with her last breath held them between her arms to protect them from flying bullets,” says the report. Though the girls survived the ordeal, in the end their mother’s lifeless body had four bullets in it. Speaking after the tragedy, Nermin’s widower said his wife, who was a nurse, “was affectionate for everyone and she liked to help without charge.”
The Slaughter of Christians in Nigeria
Various attacks on Christians by Muslim Fulani herdsmen continued throughout the month of January. “At least 16 people have been killed by gunmen in southern Nigeria after a New Year’s Day church service,” says one report. “The group had attended a midnight service before they were ambushed in the early hours of Monday.”
According to another report, in one week alone, 55 people were killed and 200 homes torched, in the Lau local government area of Taraba state.
In yet another instance, 80 Christians were slaughtered by the Muslim herdsmen, many hacked to death by machetes, in Logo and Guma County. Speaking from a hospital bed, one survivor, Peter, said the attackers who went after him “were people I had interfaced with in that community. I got up and called them by their names and tried to wrestle the machete they had out of their hands, but to no avail. I was overpowered and they began to cut me.”
Discussing these ongoing raids, Rev. Musa Asake, the General Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said “Under President [Muhammad] Buhari, the murderous Fulani herdsmen enjoyed unprecedented protection and favoritism to the extent that the herdsmen treat Nigeria as a conquered territory. Rather than arrest and prosecute the Fulani herdsmen, security forces usually manned by Muslims from the North offer them protection as they unleash terror with impunity on the Nigerian people.”
The Rape of Christians in Pakistan
“A Christian boy of only 7 years old was brutally sodomized by a Muslim rapist,” says a report. Daim Masih, a first grader, was walking home from school when he was met by Shan Muhammad, 19, a local: “Hi Daim, it’s nice to see you,” he began. MORE