New footage from a recent attack against Coptic churchgoers in Cairo appears to show police allowing and even participating in the violence.
First obtained by Mid-East Christian News, the clip shows police standing by while men attack St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral with guns, machetes, and rocks. At one point (2:30), an officer appears to help a gunman take aim, notes Fox News.
Two Copts were killed in the April 7 attack, while 84 people were injured, including 11 police officers.
There are more than 8 million Egyptian Coptics.
When we were at St Mark’s earlier this month — a few days before the attack — it was hard to miss the heavy security and fear of an attack just like this.
Located in the Abbassia District of Cairo, the cathedral is part of a larger compound behind by high walls and arced steel spikes.
The entrance is manned by guards who search every visitor. Despite arriving with local press, we were assigned an escort who didn’t leave our side until we left the property.
The Egyptian Coptic church faces a tenuous situation following the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood after the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
It does not bode well that police aren’t protecting them from violence. Of course, some Egyptian police refuse to stop any crime at all.
The following photos were taken at St. Mark’s six days before the deadly April 7 attack.
Built when Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria led the Coptic Church from 1959 – 1971, St. Mark’s remains the seat of the Coptic Pope and the heart of the order that has more than 8 million Egyptian members.
Theological students study here to become Coptic priests and to learn the Coptic language, history, and rituals.
Also within the compound is the small church, Abba Rowais, which is still used today by followers and visited by tourists.
A classic example of Coptic Architecture, St. Mark’s holds up to 5,000 worshipers.
Visitors are searched at the entrance before getting into this tranquil place.
And the perimeter of the property is lined with high walls topped with imposing steel spikes.
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