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IDC Stands in Solidarity with Coptic Christians in Palm Sunday Violence and Calls for their Protection

Washington, DC: April 11, 2017. (PCP) ISIS claimed responsibility for bombings that killed 36 at two Coptic churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria in Egypt on Palm Sunday.

The first blast in the northern city of Tanta occurred at St. George’s Church during their Palm Sunday service, reportedly killing 25 people and wounding around 60 others. The second attack occurred outside Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, killing around 11 people and wounding dozens.

These brazen attacks on Egypt’s Christians follows the wave of violence they suffered in February when dozens of Christians were killed and hundreds forced to flee the violence in Egypt’s North Sinai province.

“IDC stands in solidarity with the Coptic Christians of Egypt in their suffering and calls on the Egyptian government to protect them, to bring to justice those who have committed acts of terrorism, and to defeat ISIS, Al Qaeda and its affiliates,” said IDC Executive Director, Philippe Nassif.

ISIS continues to carry out its campaign to kill Christians in Egypt and across the Middle East. In the aftermath of the February attacks, the alleged perpetrator of the December bombing of a chapel adjoining Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo, an attack in which 28 Christians were killed, said “Oh crusaders in Egypt, this attack that struck you in your temple is just the first with many more to come, God willing.”

“We stand in solidarity with Egypt, particularly Egypt's Christian community," said IDC senior advisor Andrew Doran. "We call on Egypt's government to use all necessary means to make places of worship in Egypt safe, especially those systematically targeted by terrorists," said IDC’s Senior Adviser Andrew Doran.

“The American people hope that the Egyptian people will succeed in their struggle against terrorism and extremism,” added Nassif. “No person should be targeted for violence on the basis of his or her religious beliefs.”