Coptic pilgrims show amazing courage before being martyred by ISIS

Coptic pilgrims show amazing courage before being martyred by ISIS

The Culture

A Tinley Park man was among nearly 30 people killed in an Islamic State attack in Egypt Friday morning, his nephew told reporters Sunday.

Mohsen Morkous, 60, was with family members on a bus traveling through the province of Minya en route to the monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor when the attack occurred, his nephew Gerges Morkous said.

The bus carrying Coptic Christians to the remote desert monastery was targeted by terrorists and 29 people were killed by gunfire in the attack, The Associated Press reported. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday. It was the fourth attack against Christians in Egypt since December to be claimed by the IS. The string of attacks have killed more than 100 and injured scores, according to the AP.

Bishop Makarios, the top Coptic Orthodox cleric in Minya, said the Christian men were told by the assailants who ordered them off the bus that the men’s lives would be spared if they converted to Islam.

“They chose death,” said Makarios, who has been an outspoken critic of the government’s handling of anti-Christian violence in Minya, where Christians account for more than 35 percent of the population — the highest of any location in Egypt.

“We take pride to die while holding on to our faith,” he said in a television interview that aired late Saturday.

Makarios confirmed that the assailants stole the women’s jewelry and his statement that the men were ordered off the bus before being killed was confirmed by a video clip purportedly showing the immediate aftermath of the shooting, according to the AP. This video showed at least four or five bodies of adult men lying on the desert sand next to the bus; women and other men screamed and cried as they stood or squatted next to the bodies, the AP reported.

This article continues at [Chicago Tribune] Tinley Park man killed in attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt

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