The Siege of Egypt’s St. Mark Cathedral: An Insider’s Account

Middle East ForumFrom the Middle East Forum:

What really happened on Sunday, April 7, 2013, during the St. Mark Cathedral attack in Cairo, where two Christians were killed and dozens wounded by Egyptian forces? As usual, different reports gave different versions, but now that the smoke has settled, the truth as first asserted during the attack by Coptic activists has been confirmed.

Back during the conflict, when state security was actually besieging the St. Mark cathedral—the most sacred building for millions of Coptic Christians and the only apostolic see serving the entire continent of Africa—Amir Ramzi, a Coptic man who managed to escape the compound where hundreds of other Copts were trapped all night was interviewed by phone on the popular Egyptian show, Cairo Today.

According Ramzi, president of the criminal court, “Today we witnessed a day unprecedented in the history of modern Egypt, a day when holy sites are attacked both by the interior ministry and the mob.”

The program’s host, Amr Adib, asked him to back up, evidently finding it difficult to implicate the interior ministry in an attack on an Egyptian landmark. So Ramzi began from the beginning, explaining how after the funeral service for another six Christians killed the day earlier—including one intentionally set aflame—in a conflict that started by Muslims sexually harassing a Christian girl, many of the Copts coming out of the cathedral were angry and protesting. Waiting for them in the streets were Islamic extremists, who began hurling rocks on the Copts, who responded in like manner.

Continue reading…