JERUSALEM, Israel – Rev. Johnnie Moore called recent attacks against Egypt’s Coptic Christian community “hugely alarming.”
“Reports of an attempted terrorist attack near to the iconic St. Catherine’s monastery in the Sinai ought to cause great alarm throughout the global Christian community,” Moore said in a statement Tuesday. “The brazenness of this and the recent attacks on Palm Sunday in Egypt confirm the need for governments and civil society to do more to protect threatened Christian communities.”
A little more than a week after suicide bombers targeted two Egyptian Coptic churches on Palm Sunday, killing 45, snipers opened fire on a police checkpoint near St. Catherine’s Monastery, killing one police officer and injuring four others.
The terrorists fired from a hilltop near St. Catherine’s, a favorite destination of tourists vacationing at Red Sea resorts on the Sinai’s southern coast.
ISIS claimed responsibility for targeting police guarding the 6th century monastery.
Moore commended Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s efforts to protect St. Catherine’s and other sacred sites in the country. El-Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency following the Palm Sunday attacks, deploying security forces to reinforce police units guarding churches across the country. But Moore said others need to step up to the plate.
“Threatened Christians need physical protection, but they also need the protection of the rule of law,” Moore said. “In countries like Iraq, they not only need to be free of ISIS, they need generous support from the public and private sectors to rebuild their homes, churches and lives.”
Just days before the Palm Sunday attacks, the Simon Wiesenthal Center presented Moore with its Medal of Valor. The organization also presented the award posthumously to former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Moore dedicated the award to persecuted Christians in Iraq and Syria and called on the audience of “Hollywood elites” to get involved in the issue, Christian Post contributor Samuel Rodriguez wrote.
Rodriguez, who serves as president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, says President Trump should appoint Moore U.S. ambassador of international religious freedom.