ISIS terrorists are claiming responsibility after gunmen attacked a Coptic Christian Church on Friday. Six churchgoers, two people in a store, and one police officer were killed.
The attack began at the St. Mina Coptic Church in Helwan, Egypt, near Cairo, according to CNN. The Egyptian Ministry of Interior says the 33-year-old attacker is “a well-known terrorist” who has taken part in five attacks over the past two years.
It appears at least one other gunman was involved, too. According to witnesses, congregants were mowed down in the street as they exited the church following a service. Bullets, broken glass, blood, and bodies were scattered over the sidewalk and roadway in the aftermath.
One church worker is being called a hero after he shut the building’s doors before the attackers could enter. They were also delayed by the arrival of police.
The attack was intended to be much worse. Had one of the attackers made it into the church, it’s believed he would have attempted to set off the bomb police found on him when they arrested him.
The assailants used what is being described as “machine guns.” ISIS says they’re behind this attack and has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks on Coptic churches. There are 9 million Coptic Christians in Egypt.
In May, 28 Coptic Christians died when their bus was riddled with gunfire. The following month, 49 were murdered after two churches were bombed on Palm Sunday.
According to Reuters, Friday’s attack first hit a Christian-owned shop. Two people in that shop died.
Churches in Egypt have turned to security officers and metal detectors to protect their congregations. The officer who died Friday is said to have been closing the church gate when he was gunned down.
Please pray for this community as they deal with their losses. Please pray for their protection. In other news, evangelist Franklin Graham has given some big news about his dad Billy.