Shot for Bread


When Atef’s mother heard a faint knock on the door, she was relieved thinking her son was back with bread for dinner. Nothing prepared her for the shocking sight she was about to see.

Standing in the doorway supported by two men; drenched in blood, the 14-year old boy of Bani Mazar blurted out, “Sorry, mom – I wasn’t able to get any bread” before collapsing.

Atef’s mother called the Volunteer Rep who advised her to rush him to the nearest hospital immediately.

Atef recalled being caught in the middle of a pro-Morsi mob heading to torch another church. His heart pounded with fear as they chanted: “Islamiya, Islamiya.”

The next thing he knew was that he was falling on the ground with a burning sensation all over his back. Atef was shot … in the back. He tried to crawl away from the violent scene and was able to take shelter in a nearby building until some villagers took him home.

Despite getting shot in the back and sustaining several shrapnel wounds, Atef smiled saying, “Had it not been for God’s protection, the mob would have eaten me alive.”

So many children like Atef have been injured during the unprecedented wave of violence against Christians in the history of Egypt. Scores more are emotionally-wounded and traumatized after witnessing brutal aggression against Copts.

Take a minute to lift a prayer for Atef and all those who are defenseless that God may comfort them and restore their peace.

About Nermien Riad

Nermien Riad founded Coptic Orphans in 1988 after volunteering for an orphanage in Cairo. When she saw that most of the children had living widowed mothers who simply couldn't afford to feed them, she gathered family and friends to sponsor children in Egypt. Today Coptic Orphans works through a network of 400+ church-based volunteers in Egypt, who visit fatherless families in their homes and make sure they get everything they need to unlock their full potential. That way, they don't have to get married off as child brides, work as 10-year old family breadwinners, or go to live at an institutional orphanage.