May 26, 2017
Memorial Day seems to come every day for our hurting brothers and sisters in the Middle East. This morning, a world that was already grieving the loss of so many lives in Manchester was heartbroken to hear about the senseless slaughter of a bus of Egyptian Christians in cold blood. The group of Egyptians were on their way to a monastery to pray when a group of masked gunman surrounded the bus and opened fire, killing at least 28 and wounding almost two dozen more. According to reports, only three children survived. "Video circulating on social media after the attack showed the bodies of about 10 men scattered in the sand on the side of the road with pools of blood around them. Children hysterically screaming could be heard in the background. Local media also reported that the attackers were recording video themselves," Fox News reported.
Although officials are still investigating, the Coptic Christians were almost certainly the target of ISIS, whose hatred toward "the Middle East's largest Christian community" has led to nightmarish beheadings on the beaches of Libya, bombings on Christmas, and senseless massacres in churches across the nation. Hours before the start of Ramadan, survivors say the murderers left behind flyers about the Muslim holy month. It was a grisly reminder of the deadly divide between radicals and one of the ancient cradles of Christianity. It was also a sobering sign of the work cut out for the world's leaders in this titanic struggle against evil.
For President Trump, who just wrapped up a whirlwind first trip overseas, there's fresh urgency to his goal of rebuilding the military and prioritizing international religious liberty. "We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in this region that is spreading across the planet. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. No description of the suffering and depravity can begin to capture its full measure. The true toll of ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams."
In the meantime, we need to pray for the victims of this horrific Islamic movement -- for all those in its path, for those actively fighting it, for our government leaders as they work to stop ISIS, and most especially for our brothers and sisters in Christ whose allegiance to their Savior makes them willing to lay down their lives for Him.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.