The big news religion news from New Year’s Day was the bombing of an Egyptian church that left at least 25 dead. The consequences continue, as the LA Times reports:
In Alexandria, Copts returned to church en masse for a Sunday service marked by an outpouring of grief for lost friends and family. A number of Copts told cleaning personnel not to pick up any of the body parts or bits of flesh scattered across the church, telling them to “leave everything as it is; this is pure and virtuous Coptic blood.”
Nearly 5,000 Copts took part late Saturday in a burial ceremony at a monastery about 18 miles from Alexandria after a day of clashes between security forces and Christians.
Small protests also broke out in the southern city of Assiut, which were dispersed quickly by security forces. “We are not going to remain silent,” they chanted. “The hearts of the Copts are on fire.”
In the capital, Cairo, and Alexandria, hundreds of Christians and Muslims took part in a demonstration Sunday to condemn the bombing, with calls of: “A Muslim and a Copt hand in hand to create a new dawn,” and “Not a police state, not a religious state, we want Egypt to be a secular state.”
As is common when tragedy strikes in the Mideast, someone is blaming the Jews. Via the JPost:
A coalition of Egyptian lawyers accused Israel of being behind an terror attack in Alexandria that killed 22 members of the Christian Copt sect attending midnight mass on New Year’s eve, Army Radio reported Monday.
“The Mossad carried out the the operation in a natural reaction to the latest uncovering of an Israeli espionage network,” the lawyers accused at a rally in memory of the victims, organized by the Egyptian Bar Association, according to the report.
Forget the fact that the attack bore the trademarks of al Qaeda. Forget too that Egypt and Israel have been at peace for three decades.