Al Qaida threatens Middle East Christians
ICEJ Newsletter, November 5, 2010

Middle East Christians are bracing for more attacks after an announcement by the Al Qaida terrorist network that Christians are "legitimate targets" for attack just a few days after dozens of Christians and Iraqi police were killed during a hostage situation at Baghdad’s largest Catholic Church. In Egypt, tensions are also high amid reports that two Coptic Christian women who converted to Islam are being held by their families in an effort to get them to change their minds. Leaders of the Coptic church deny the reports, calling them "an illusion in the minds of sick people." Al-Qaida in Iraq, the group which carried out the Baghdad attack, posted a statement on their website saying "the killing sword will not be lifted" from the necks of Christians, in Iraq and across the region, threatening to attack the children of Christians in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt and lamenting the hundreds of thousands of Christians and hundreds of churches on “Islamic soil.” Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood organization has denied any connection to the threat but security at churches in Egypt has been heightened.

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