A suicide bomber blew himself up in a church in Cairo, Egypt a week ago. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack which left 25 worshippers dead and 49 injured during a mass, Daily News Egypt reports.

The attack on December 11 was the worst Egypt’s Christians have suffered. It was the second church bombing in Egypt claimed by the jihadists since 2011. Believers fear that this attack marks a bloody escalation by militants and that they are now the main target of ISIL.

Egyptian Coptic Christians have long suffered oppression in Egypt. They have always been marginalized by the state since they only make up about 10 per cent of the country’s 90 million population.

Some said discrimination started early in schools. Christians have to leave classrooms during Islamic lessons and they memorize Quranic verses in Arabic classes.

“School curricula, some (religious) platforms and the absence of an enlightened current are what have led to this,” said Coptic Church spokesman Boulos Halim.

Peter, a Copt in his 30s, said, “They don’t learn anything about my religion. It made me feel like I’m not from this country, ” he said. He eventually left his home country.

Halim explained that the roots of violence against Christians can be traced since the 1970s, when then president Anwar Sadat empowered Islamists against his socialist opponents. Muslims still attacked Christians even after Sadat’s assassination.

The spokesman called for authorities to address the prejudice running through society for decades. “Police and military power have never been able to erase terrorism. It must be accompanied by the power of thought,” he said.

Sources:
Dailynewsegyptcom. (2016). Daily News Egypt. http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2016/12/14/604741/

Post publishing pcl. (2016). Http://wwwbangkokpostcom. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/1161941/egypt-church-bombing-raises-calls-to-uproot-bigotry

Thenationalae. (2016). Thenationalae. http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/after-church-attack-egypts-christians-fear-they-are-main-target-for-militants

Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at Joyce@1cvm.com.