Egyptian armed forces tore down a protective fence surrounding the ancient Coptic St. Bishoy monastery in Wadi el-Natroun, not far from Cairo. The monks stood and prayed the Eastern prayer, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy' prayer, while the government forces shouted, 'Allahu Akbar' and 'Victory, Victory'. The army fired on the defenseless monks and monastery workers. You can read the story here.
Egypt is a holy land. The Holy Family fled to Egypt for protection against the first wave of martyrdom when Herod sought to kill the Child Jesus. The desert fathers sanctified the deserts ever after. The Coptic monks are among the direct descendants of the ancient monks. They have an ancient, unchanged liturgy and spirituality, strengthened by persecution and poverty.
While it is true these attacks have occurred at various intervals throughout history, I'm concerned the upheaval we are witnessing in Islamic countries at this time is the beginning of a new, even bloodier chapter.
Prayers for the Christians in the Middle East and Islamic countries.