Smith Statement on Egyptian Suicide Bombers
In response to the suicide bombings of Coptic Christian worshipers on Palm Sunday in Egypt, Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Human Rights, released the following statement:
In December, more than two dozen worshipers were killed during a Coptic liturgy in Cairo. Last month, scores of Christians fled a wave of terrorist shootings and arson attacks in their hometowns in the Sinai. I personally raised this crisis for Copts with President el-Sisi in Washington last week.
I hope that the state of emergency announced yesterday by President el-Sisi, in the wake of the deadly suicide bombing of Coptic Christian worshipers, signals that serious and effective security measures will be taken to protect the Coptic population. It is critical that local investigations and policing mirror efforts at the national level—especially as Copts begin commemorating the holiest week in Christianity. These measures cannot wait.
The survival of the Middle East’s largest Christian community, the Copts, is at stake today in Egypt. They now suffer under daily, existential threats from a determined enemy. Egypt’s government must act urgently to stem this rising tide of deadly persecution.