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Egypt Extends State of Emergency a Year After Church Bombings

Two separate church bombings last year in Alexandria and Tanta prompted the government to tighten its security and safeguard its citizens against further terror attacks. The church bombings left 47 people dead and many others injured has prompted Egypt to extend, for another three months its nationwide state of emergency starting April 14, 2018, reports Egyptian news website Ahram Online.

Egypt’s House of Representatives has approved a presidential decree to extend the state of emergency first imposed in April 2017.

A year after the Palm Sunday church bombings, many Egyptian Christians still feel threatened and they worry about their safety.

According to the decree, the extension will “allow the Armed Forces and police to undertake necessary measures to face the dangers of terrorism and its funding, safeguard security nationwide, secure private and public property, and protect the lives of citizens.”

Under the state of emergency, authorities have the right to monitor all kinds of communications, impose a curfew to citizens and implement censorship of publications. Local security forces could also detain people without giving any reason.

A year after the Palm Sunday church bombings, many Egyptian Christians still feel threatened and they worry about their safety.

In an interview with Premier, Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki Stephanous, president of the Protestant Community of Egypt, revealed that another terror attack could occur despite the additional security measures the government has implemented.

“The good news is we never fear bombs or death. As long as we’re committed to Jesus, every time they bomb the church we have double the number of people in church,” said Rev. Stephanous.

Meantime, Dr. Rev Sameh Hanna, associate pastor at the Evangelical Church in Cairo, said Egyptian Christians remain joyful because they hear two kinds of news—earthly news and heavenly news. He explained that earthly news are negative and very discouraging, with terror acts happening in different parts of the world.

Heavenly news, on the other hand, are about things on a spiritual level, and Christians revel on these news. “We see things you are not hearing. We see the multitude coming to the knowledge of Christ from every background so this brings joy to us,” Rev. Hanna said.

The twin church bombings didn’t deter believers from their faith. Instead, many churches reported an increase in the number of people in their congregations.

Sources:
Ahram Online
Premier

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