It is the stubborn Copts again. They refuse to stop communion and they reject obeying Allah and his messenger Muhammad. This is why a Coptic Christian priest Father Rafael Moussa in Arish, capital of the North Sinai province has been gunned down by Muslims in “a hail of bullets” outside The Church of the Martyr of St George in Sinai, Egypt.
According to reports, one of the more notable terrorist groups in the area is ‘Ansar Bait al-Maqdis,’ who, in November 2014, swore allegiance to ISIS killed him and took responsibility. Egypt’s Coptic Christian community has been heavily targeted since the Arab Spring in 2011 and by this year the Egyptian government had no mercy on the Christian Copts closing 50 churches using the excuse that it was for “security reasons”.
One must understand what misery this priest had to endure before his martyrdom. The Church of St. George in El Arish, this priest and its parishioners and clergy were spending most of time in labors on restoration of the church. On August 14, 2013, a group of Muslim Brotherhood burst into the Church breaking the gates open and bringing down the cross killing Father Rafael Moussa’s colleague, another priest, Mina Aboud, then they desecrated the church altar and removed valuable liturgical vessels and then set fire to the church building from inside (see photo below). As a result, rare icons, manuscripts, and relics of saints were destroyed in the fire, and the dome of this ancient church collapsed. Yet they continued to worship there.
After that tragedy the parish life came to a standstill, waiting for further instructions from the newly elected government. The legal code in Egypt does not permit Christians to restore run-down churches but despite all this the clergy and laity decided to resume services in this church whose walls turned black from soot which continues today.
Despite the killing and burning, the parish of St. George regularly gathers together for Divine Liturgy and Communion using an improvised Communion table while the ruined church added solemnity to the services during which the faithful offer up prayers and praise God right under the rays of the rising Sun. But it seems that such persistence irked the Muslims of Bait Al-Maqdis terror group and they killed the remaining priest leaving the church without leadership. No priest, no communion. This is what Daniel predicted when Antichrist stops the grain offering (study here).
The copts are perhaps the most persistent of all Christians having the patience and the fortitude of Job. Pray for the Coptic community of Egypt. Isaiah 19 promises that the Lord will come down for them.
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