Shocking images were seen around the world on Sunday as Holy Week for Coptic Christians started in the cruelest ways. During Palm Sunday in Egypt at two Coptic churches at least 44 people were killed and more than one hundred people injured. Isis claimed responsibility.
Sunday, Coptic Christians in Northern California mourned the loss of their brothers and sisters. Roseville’s St Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church held two services and prayed for those killed in the attacks. Father Arsanios Nady Rizk is from Egypt and Pastor’s St Mary’s.
“We are very sad," he said. "We support our families and friends in Egypt because right now every feast we have a murder, we have a blood."
Father Arsanios said the bloodshed is becoming too common in Egypt. He said his people were the majority killed in these ISIS attacks, but Muslims were killed also, and that his community forgives ISIS for what they have done.
“Yes, yes. We pray for the martyr, we ask his prayers now because he is in heaven, we pray for his family to give them support, we pray for the people for their faith be strong, and last we pray for ISIS that God open their mind,” Father Arsanios said.
St. Mary’s parishioners prayed throughout the somber Palm Sunday service for a light to shine during this dark time.
Leaders of the church have taken precautionary measures and vamped up security at the church in case the unthinkable happens.