Hundreds of Egyptian activists staged a demonstration on Saturday in the Christian-dominated Shubra neighborhood in Cairo to protest what they perceive as the lack of security measures to protect churches across Egypt.
The protesters, who came from different political factions like Egyptians against Religious Discrimination group and the 6 April movement, chanted anti-government slogans such as, “Down with the sectarian state,” and “Long live the Crescent with the Cross”.
A group of Christian residents in Shubra joined the demonstration which was cordoned off by heavy security presence.
“I am here to speak up because our voices are not heard,” said Adel Ayad, 25, a Coptic inhabitant of Shubra, northern of Cairo. “This is terrorism from inside, and the Interior Ministry did nothing to stop it,” he added.
Earlier Saturday, the Coptic Orthodox Church hinted that the attack on the Church of St. Mark and St. Peter in Alexandria had domestic justifications.
“As the church condemns the attack which threatens our security and the safety of our citizens, it also believes that the attack constitutes a serious escalation of sectarian violence against Copts,” the Church said in a statement. “The attack came as a result of the continuous sectarian agitation that has been fuming in the last months,” the statement added.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said earlier that preliminary investigation suggest that the attack which killed 21 Copts “was likely the act of a suicide bomber and not a car bomb”.