December 12, 2016
Two Tragedies Strike Churches In Nigeria And Egypt
Many of Egypt’s Christian minority gathered in the streets of Cairo to show their anger after a bomb targeted the complex of St. Mark’s Cathedral. The bomb killed at least 25 people – many of whom were women and children – in what is the headquarters of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the home of its leader, Pope Tawadros II. Though Coptic communities are often targeted by militant groups, this was one of the deadliest single attacks in years. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-day period of national mourning.
Meanwhile in Nigeria, the roof of the Reigners Bible Church collapsed over the weekend, killing at least 160 people. Udom Emmanuel, the state governor of Akwa Ibom, was inside the church with hundreds of others to ordain the church’s founder Akan Weeks as a bishop. Weeks and Ibom were able to escape, but the death toll is expected to rise. A crane is now being used to sort through the debris and understand why the corrugated iron roof caved in during the ceremony. The building had been under construction in the days leading up to the event, and the Nigerian government has been fighting with corruption in the construction industry, where contractors use sub-standard materials and ofter bribe inspectors.
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