Although ISIS has yet to step forward and claim responsibility, there’s no reason to believe this was anything other than an act of religious persecution in the Middle East.
On Friday, 26 Coptic Christians were killed and another 25 injured when masked gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying them to a monastery in southern Egypt.
Eyewitnesses said masked men stopped the two buses and a truck and opened fire on a road leading to the monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Minya province, which is home to a sizeable Christian minority.
Security forces launched a hunt for the attackers, setting up dozens of checkpoints and patrols on the desert road.
This isn’t a new thing, unfortunately.
There have been around 70 deaths of Coptic Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population, since December.
Those killed were victims of bomb attacks on their churches in Cairo, Alexandria, and Tanta.
The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s 1,000-year-old center of Islamic learning, said the attack was intended to destabilize the country.
“I call on Egyptians to unite in the face of this brutal terrorism,” Ahmed al-Tayeb said from Germany, where he was on a visit.
ISIS has made claim to every other attack on Coptic Christians, so they will likely claim responsibility for this attack, as well.
And for those who are curious as to who the Coptic Christians are, “Coptic” simply means “Egyptian.” Their denomination originated in Alexandria, between 42 A.D. and 62 A.D. They count John Mark, author of the Gospel of Mark, as their founder and first bishop.
In February 2015, the world was horrified when ISIS kidnapped 21 Coptic Christian men in Libya, then put them on their knees on a beach, before beheading them for the camera.