Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb condemned on Friday the terrorist attack on Mar Mina Church in Helwan, located in Greater Cairo. The attack left at least 9 dead and another 10 wounded.
The victims of the attack included policemen and worshipers.
Al-Tayeb stressed that the reasons behind the repeated occurrence of terrorist attacks targeting Christians on their holidays have become exposed. He further added that these attacks target the unity of the country and not the followers of a particular religion. He also expressed his deepest condolences to the families of victims.
“The response to foil these attacks is to adhere more to the unity and love between Muslims and Christians,” al-Tayeb said.
The Grand Imam concluded his statement urging the Egyptian people to stand against these plots and called on Muslims to celebrate the birth of Jesus together with the Copts.
Two armed terrorists reportedly attacked the church shortly before Friday prayers. One terrorist was killed at the scene of the attack.
Egypt’s Christians have long suffered from multiple attacks including church burnings among other attacks.
About 54 incidents have occurred against the religious minority in Egypt in 2016, according to the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.