"On January 5, an Egyptian Muslim cleric named Sheikh Sayed Askar witnessed a terrorist planting bombs on the roof of the Virgin Mary and Father Seifin Church in Nasr City, near Cairo, Egypt.
The terrorist planned to detonate the bombs during the church’s orthodox Christmas Eve service on January 6. Hundreds of Christians flock to this Christmas Eve service every year to celebrate their Savior.
After Sheikh Askar alerted the police, the government responded to the Imam’s observation and immediately dispatched a specialized bomb squad to defuse the bombs. The squad located three bombs on the roof of the church.
Tragically, while the officers were attempting to defuse the bombs, one detonated. An officer, Major Mustafa Abid, lost his life. Three other nearby individuals, including General Nasar Mansour, were seriously injured.
As an advocate for the persecuted and a public witness to their suffering, we continually call out governments and individuals that practice, abide, or abet the persecution of Christians around the world.
Too rarely, though, do we have the opportunity to acknowledge and thank those who are the exception to the status quo – those who personally risk their reputations, livelihood, or even their lives to protect endangered Christians. Askar’s actions foiled this terrorist plot yet ultimately endangered his own life in Egypt – a country still teeming with radical Islamist violence today.
The actions of Major Abid, General Mansour, the other members of the Nasr City bomb squad, as well as Imam Askar, give us such an opportunity. If they had not moved quickly, the roof of the church would surely have collapsed from the force of the explosion, resulting in a massive number of deaths of Christians at the church and Muslims attending the mosque next door.
Please join us in thanking these brave men with your signature to honor their sacrifice.
We will deliver the letter and the list of signatures to the individuals and families of those involved, including the family of the officer who lost his life.