Russian and US presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, Pope Francis condemned the brutal attack on innocent Christians.
In Egypt 9 April again the trouble. On this holy Sunday - Palm Sunday - when Christians remember the day of the entrance of the Lord Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, in several Egyptian temples explosions took place that claimed the lives of dozens of people who today became martyrs for the faith. According to news agencies, the first terrorist attacks were recorded in the Egyptian city of Tanta, located in the Nile Delta (located 100 km southeast of Alexandria and 80 km north of Cairo). They blew up the Coptic Church of St. George and the police training center, according to preliminary estimates, at least 25 people were killed, 50 was injured. The next target of terrorists was the Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in Alexandria. Since the service was attended by the Orthodox Coptic Patriarch Tavadros II, many people came. The lord himself was not harmed, but life was lost, according to the latest information, 11 man, 35 wounded. Among the deceased was a self-sacrificing Egyptian policeman who tried to stop the villain who wanted to go to the temple, but as a result of the explosion at his entrance.
St. Mark's Cathedral has already survived a recent terrible attack. In December 2016, the terrorist bombed a bomb, killing at least 26 people. Then the responsibility for the attack, the BBC reports, was taken over by the recently formed militant Islamist group "Hasm". Now, according to news agencies, the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (an organization whose activities are banned in Russia) decided to brag of the crime. In December last year, Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi announced a three-day mourning and demanded to find and bring to justice those who committed the atrocity. But attacks on Coptic Christians, unfortunately, continued, especially in the Northern Sinai area. The Egyptian authorities tightened the security regime near the Coptic churches. The tourists who were there after the terrorist attack noted that the police exercised total control with the use of special means. But not all evil can save people by their efforts alone. It was clear that Cairo needed help in the fight against terrorism. Egypt tried to find her in the US, where he went to visit in early April this year, as Sisi.
It seemed that everything was beginning to take shape. Following talks in the United States with President Donald Trump in an interview with the American television channel Fox News, the head of Egypt noted that his colleague has a true understanding of the realities of the Middle East, "serious attitude and responsible actions in countering extremism and terrorism in the region." As-Sisi highly appreciated the leadership qualities of Trump, stressing that he "is convinced of his abilities and strong-willed qualities," as he "can make efforts that not everyone can shoulder, he is able to succeed where others have failed." The Egyptian leader also noted the "very lucid and frank manner" of the US president, his ability to "protect the interests of the American people", as well as the "novelty of his concept" of the development of the United States in comparison with his predecessors at the presidential post. "We very much support Egypt and its people," Trump said in his meeting with Al-Sisi and added that Washington was building up its own "top-level" army to fight the "Islamic State" (an organization whose activities is prohibited in the Russian Federation) and to assist allies.
Earlier, the intention to arrive in Egypt on a visit 28-29 April Pope Francis announced Radio Vaticana. The Pontiff accepted the invitation of Al-Sisi, the Catholic episcopate, Patriarch Tavadros II and Ahmed al-Tayyib, the great imam of the leading Sunni university, Al-Azhar. Francis went to Egypt to continue the dialogue with the representatives of Islam, which began last year during the visit to the Vatican of the great Imam al-Tayyib. This meeting between the two religious leaders was of great importance, so it renewed the regular contacts of the University of Al-Azhar with the Holy See, suspended in 2011, the deterioration of which was associated with Pope Benedict XVI's statement that Egypt lacked religious freedom and insufficient protection of Christian shrines after the assassination attempt Coptic temple in Alexandria. The pope's apostolic journey was seen as a message of peace addressed to the entire religious and political world and calling for the protection of Christians in conflict zones in the Middle East, the cessation of violence and terrorism, the resolution of problems through dialogue and negotiation, as Francis said during the November 2014 meeting in the Vatican with the President of Egypt.
Coptic patriarch Tavadros II
Important in this situation remained the issue of security. Patriarch Tavadros II issued a special address in which he described cases of violence against Christians recorded in the Northern Sinai as an exception in the country where the Holy Family once sheltered from King Herod. Recalling this exciting story, the lord wanted to bring down the wave of alarmism caused by reports of the persecution of Christians in Egypt, which so disturbed the Coptic community. Tavadros II then stressed that the attacks of jihadists affect not only Christians, but also the army, the police and the courts. And in the actions of the militants included in the "Islamic state" (an organization whose activities are banned in the Russian Federation), he saw forces "alien to Egyptian society and wishing to divide Egypt." In other words, the patriarch hinted that the "external factor" outside the country of the grouping and politics, which would like to present Egypt as torn by internal contradictions of a country such as Iraq and Syria, is involved in terrorist acts. Considering that today's explosions in Cairo and Tanta have thundered after the constructive talks between President Al-Sisi and President Trump and on the eve of the visit of Pope Francis, it seems that the organizers of the terrorist attacks in this way intended to show the world their capabilities and potential.
Condolences to the people and the leadership of Egypt were expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. "The crime committed in the midst of a religious holiday strikes with its cruelty and cynicism," the Russian leader's telegram reads. "Obviously, terrorists seek not only to intimidate people, but also to sow discord between representatives of various faiths. However, I am sure that they will not achieve their criminal goals. " Putin stressed that only acting in conjunction with other responsible members of the world community, Russia and Egypt will be able to repel the forces of terror, as well as "eradicate their misanthropic ideology." Donald Trump on his social networking page Twitter wrote: "It's sad to hear about the terrorist attack in Egypt. The US strongly condemns. I have a serious confidence that the president of Al-Sisi will cope with the situation properly. " Pope Francis at the end of the divine service at St. Peter's Square in the Vatican said: "My brother Tavadros II and all the Egyptian people express my deep condolences. I am close to relatives and the community. Lord, turn the hearts of those people who sow terror, violence and death, as well as the hearts of those who trade in arms. " This is a human reaction, the only true at such moments. But the actions of the international community aimed at combating terrorism, rather than on the solution of immediate political tasks, should follow after it.