In the Fiery Furnace

Sep - Oct Picture

 

“Our house is engulfed in flames. Hurry before they kill us.” The distressed sister of our volunteer Rep Saeed placed a frantic call for help as the pro-Morsi mob burnt down her house in Diabiya, Beni Suef.

With these words ringing loud, Rep Saeed raced out to rescue his trapped sister and his disabled nephew.

The vicious attack on Copts in Diabiya started with the torching and looting of Archangel and Anba Antonius church.

A day before the massive attacks, a scuffle between a Muslim on his motorcycle and a Copt who had a speed bump in front of his house escalated. The Muslim vowed revenge. And so on Sunday, pro-Morsi supporters in nearby villages armed with batons, axes and Molotov cocktails organized. The leaders carried live ammunition and headed the mob to retaliate against the entire village, starting with the church. Intimidated villagers hid in their houses and the streets were taken over by the pro-Morsi mob.

After setting the church ablaze, they proceeded to nearby homes of Christians, one of which was the house of Rep Saeed’s sister.

Racing to his sister’s house, Rep. Saeed had no idea what was waiting for him. He saw buildings to his left and right in flames. Then he was confronted by bearded men. He managed to escape safely from the first two who were armed. But a few steps later, he was stopped by a group of fifteen assailants. There was no escape now.

They encompassed him and one of them said: “He’s a Nosrani”, a derogatory way to refer to a Christian, before hitting him with a baton on his head. Rep Saeed fell and a Muslim villager who knew him mustered his courage and ran to drag him away from their grip.

Rep Saeed was bleeding profusely when he took refuge in the burnt church. He called the police but they showed up an hour and half later and transported him to the hospital.

Sustaining serious wounds and not fully recovered, Rep Saeed continued visiting fatherless children.

Take a minute to lift up a prayer for our Church, fatherless children, and volunteers.

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.