January 1st, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Security tightened after deadly church blast in Egypt

By the CNN Wire Staff

Government officials in Alexandria, Egypt, increased security around places of worship following an explosion that killed at least 21 people at a church in the region, the governor told state media Saturday.

"We are stressing now on guarding churches," Adil Labib, the governor of Alexandria, told state-run Nile TV.

Evidence indicates that a suicide bomber caused the blast, the country's interior ministry said.

Read the full story about the deadly blast near a church in Egypt

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Houses of worship • Middle East • Violence

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. HHS

    We will all die some day, some will hide under their bed like Gary but still die, others will venture forth bravely, see the world for what it is, a nice place made worse by the hyper ventilating western media.

    January 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
  2. Mark from Middle River

    "mary, get religion out of that region"

    " closed minded religious brainwashed country"

    but then Gary says :

    "east but the only way I see that happening is religious tolerance"

    Is not part of religous tolerance actually being tolerant of those who are religious?

    January 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
  3. Gary

    Nakhla, It will spread. "they've been trying to delay such an outburst from here on,it won't get any better" ??? why is it the government and people have been anticipating such events? Nakhla..your post proves my point. I simply will never travel to that entire region. I have also stopped traveling to Mexico. I have been to Colombia,Costa Rica Canada and Austrailia. approx 45 f the states. I consider my self well- traveled. I hope things slowly get better in the middle east but the only way I see that happening is religious tolerance and more western attributes to the region.

    January 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
  4. Gary

    Peace 2all, I see your point. I agree with all of your posts. My point is it should not even make the news that bombs go off in these countries. Its their culture. it is the norm for this region.

    January 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Peace2All


      See my response to you above, under the original thread.


      January 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • Nakhla

      Don't be an arrogant deuce Gary. How ambiguous can you get by saying "this region"? Don't try to group and clamp all Middle Eastern countries into one big thing. Egypt rarely experiences such tragic events and this is one of the 1st of such said tragic events. In a sense this is the beginning of a time that many have been trying to avoid, especially the government. They've been trying to delay such an outburst from happening because from here on, it won't get any better. And the government needs to handle this situation correctly as the whole entire world is now watching Egypt and is aware of what is happening. That's why this needs to be on the news and it needs to spread.

      January 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
  5. Reality

    "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today

    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed." J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    January 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  6. Gaza’s Youth Manifesto for Change! By Gaza Youth Breaks Out (GYBO) (posted on CNN by Darwi)

    found at guerrillanews.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/gaza-youth-manifesto-for-change/

    Fuck Hamas. Fuck Israel. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNWRA. Fuck USA!
    We, the youth in Gaza, are so fed up with Israel, Hamas, the occupation, the violations of human rights and the indifference of the international community! We want to scream and break this wall of silence, injustice and indifference like the Israeli F16’s breaking the wall of sound; scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in; we are like lice between two nails living a nightmare inside a nightmare, no room for hope, no space for freedom. We are sick of being caught in this political struggle; sick of coal dark nights with airplanes circling above our homes; sick of innocent farmers getting shot in the buffer zone because they are taking care of their lands; sick of bearded guys walking around with their guns abusing their power, beating up or incarcerating young people demonstrating for what they believe in; sick of the wall of shame that separates us from the rest of our country and keeps us imprisoned in a stamp-sized piece of land; sick of being portrayed as terrorists, homemade fanatics with explosives in our pockets and evil in our eyes; sick of the indifference we meet from the international community, the so-called experts in expressing concerns and drafting resolutions but cowards in enforcing anything they agree on; we are sick and tired of living a shitty life, being kept in jail by Israel, beaten up by Hamas and completely ignored by the rest of the world.

    There is a revolution growing inside of us, an immense dissatisfaction and frustration that will destroy us unless we find a way of canalizing this energy into something that can challenge the status quo and give us some kind of hope. The final drop that made our hearts tremble with frustration and hopelessness happened 30th November, when Hamas’ officers came to Sharek Youth Forum, a leading youth organization (www.sharek.ps) with their guns, lies and aggressiveness, throwing everybody outside, incarcerating some and prohibiting Sharek from working. A few days later, demonstrators in front of Sharek were beaten and some incarcerated. We are really living a nightmare inside a nightmare. It is difficult to find words for the pressure we are under. We barely survived the Operation Cast Lead, where Israel very effectively bombed the shit out of us, destroying thousands of homes and even more lives and dreams. They did not get rid of Hamas, as they intended, but they sure scared us forever and distributed post traumatic stress syndrome to everybody, as there was nowhere to run.

    We are youth with heavy hearts. We carry in ourselves a heaviness so immense that it makes it difficult to us to enjoy the sunset. How to enjoy it when dark clouds paint the horizon and bleak memories run past our eyes every time we close them? We smile in order to hide the pain. We laugh in order to forget the war. We hope in order not to commit suicide here and now. During the war we got the unmistakable feeling that Israel wanted to erase us from the face of the earth. During the last years Hamas has been doing all they can to control our thoughts, behaviour and aspirations. We are a generation of young people used to face missiles, carrying what seems to be a impossible mission of living a normal and healthy life, and only barely tolerated by a massive organization that has spread in our society as a malicious cancer disease, causing mayhem and effectively killing all living cells, thoughts and dreams on its way as well as paralyzing people with its terror regime. Not to mention the prison we live in, a prison sustained by a so-called democratic country.

    History is repeating itself in its most cruel way and nobody seems to care. We are scared. Here in Gaza we are scared of being incarcerated, interrogated, hit, tortured, bombed, killed. We are afraid of living, because every single step we take has to be considered and well-thought, there are limitations everywhere, we cannot move as we want, say what we want, do what we want, sometimes we even cant think what we want because the occupation has occupied our brains and hearts so terrible that it hurts and it makes us want to shed endless tears of frustration and rage!

    We do not want to hate, we do not want to feel all of this feelings, we do not want to be victims anymore. ENOUGH! Enough pain, enough tears, enough suffering, enough control, limitations, unjust justifications, terror, torture, excuses, bombings, sleepless nights, dead civilians, black memories, bleak future, heart aching present, disturbed politics, fanatic politicians, religious bullshit, enough incarceration! WE SAY STOP! This is not the future we want!

    We want three things. We want to be free. We want to be able to live a normal life. We want peace. Is that too much to ask? We are a peace movement consistent of young people in Gaza and supporters elsewhere that will not rest until the truth about Gaza is known by everybody in this whole world and in such a degree that no more silent consent or loud indifference will be accepted.

    This is the Gazan youth’s manifesto for change!

    We will start by destroying the occupation that surrounds ourselves, we will break free from this mental incarceration and regain our dignity and self respect. We will carry our heads high even though we will face resistance. We will work day and night in order to change these miserable conditions we are living under. We will build dreams where we meet walls.

    We only hope that you – yes, you reading this statement right now! – can support us. In order to find out how, please write on our wall or contact us directly: freegazayouth@hotmail.com

    We want to be free, we want to live, we want peace.


    January 2, 2011 at 5:32 am |
    • Gary

      Palestinians should free that young Isreali soldier ....Now!

      January 2, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  7. Mark from Middle River

    Jonathan. – They do not wish or are vert resistant to showing simple positive stories in the media. This goes abit with the belief blog staff saddly more often than not. This is the same crew who during one of Christiananity holiest month decided it was more appropriate to have stories such as the Koran burning minister goes to england. Not like we had churches around the country busting their rear ends to help the community.

    The best thing you can do jonathan is to accept that pretty much any positive message or act from any traditionally based or type of church will not be displayed here on this forum. To have any such positive messages would go against the view that many here hold of traditional churches.

    Check it out, they did a story/blog article of one church that might get forclosed on. Any stories of the explosion of megachurches recently. Nope.

    January 1, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
  8. Jonathan

    In response to the special "In America" I think it would be appropriate to have a special for the majority, as opposed to the minority only, on a family choosing to not have an abortion or a Priest in training, or the challenge of a family caring for a disabled child. We should see the beauty of a family choosing life and the challenge of feeding a child in a wheelchair wondering when their child will die. This is beautiful. Stop shoving the minority agenda down our throats.

    January 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  9. NM


    January 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm |
  10. deanna nakhle

    That is up to you Gary, I am a Lebanese Canadian and have a lot of friends from all religions, color and race. That is why I don't lable people. It is not where you are from it is who you are. 911 was in the USA God rest their souls and their is much more security recently in the states but people still travel there.
    We all need to pray and demonstrate to live as one and to stop terrorism don't you think??? WE need to be free in a world that God gave us to enjoy without fear. We need to feel free to walk into churches without fearing bombs.

    January 1, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • Gary

      Deanna Nakhle agreed. good points.!

      January 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  11. Mary

    Its very strange that would b ur only comment blaming those who come 4 visits to the Middle East coz they might get blown up!! Don't u think that those residents wr humans as well n deserve more concern for their own death??! I guess they cannot be blamed to have bn created citizens in this country..

    January 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Gary

      Mary, get religion out of that region and the "terrorists" in that area need to be handled by the people of that region. American troops should not be in Afgahnistan,Iraq,Kuwait ect. The leaders and people of middle east need to fix their own problems.......In the meantime I would never tour the middle east and have no pity for the westerners who do and get blown up.

      January 1, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  12. deanna nakhle

    DO NOT count Lebanon as a closed minded religious brainwashed country.....Lebanese people are not like that .....it's all the other people that interfere in Lebanon. Christians, Muslems and all other religions in Lebanon always lived as one.
    Do not lable people please.

    January 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Gary

      Deanna Nakhle, the many Lebanese Americans I know are great people. I still would not visit that country or that region.

      January 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  13. HotAirAce

    I agree with the statement from Al-Azhar.

    January 1, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  14. Gary

    I will never ever travel to the middle east. I have no ambition to study man made religions. Anyone who tours Isreal,Egypt,Palestine,Syria,Lebanon, or any other middle east closed minded religious brainwashed country and gets blown up well its your fault. All the tourists in Isreal Egypt and other middle eastern countries traveled @ their own risk and got what they deserved.

    January 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • ProudlyKafir

      Your don't have to travel... it is coming near you courtesy of the Religion of Peace!

      January 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Meh

      Like above states, these people are moving in, they will be your neighbors one day if they already aren't.

      January 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • Peace2All


      You Said: "All the tourists in Isreal Egypt and other middle eastern countries traveled @ their own risk and got what they(deserved)."

      Are you sure believe this... in that any people that get killed or blown up... actually... "deserve" to...?

      Hmmm... I can understand maybe it not being the best vacation destination given security concerns, to put it very mildly, but... they "deserved" to get killed...?

      So, hypothetically good humans... with loving families make bad travel choices = 'deserve' to be killed...? From your posting, that is how it looks to me -Gary.

      I don't know if I'm with ya' on that one, as your statement seems a bit, say... over-the-top.


      January 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hey Gary...

      From down below, you replied to my comment with:

      "Peace 2all, I see your point. I agree with all of your posts. My point is it should not even make the news that bombs go off in these countries. Its their culture. it is the norm for this region."

      I have a better understanding as to where you are coming from now. As to whether or not 'bombings in these countries' (should or should not) make the news is certainly another matter.


      January 2, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • HHS

      Where are the peaceful christians/ why arent they speaking up against the Christian occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and the murder of hundreds of thousands of Muslims, these church bombings would not happen if christians spoke up strongly against their govts.

      The real evil is the Christian world aligned with the jews and making life hell for Arabs and Muslims in occupied territories for 60 years, as well as under the Hindu gun in Kashmir.

      Speak up Christians or be held responsible.

      January 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • HHS

      You mean you have no religious people near you? no church, no temple, nothing? dude enjoy it while you can... and watch out for them Christians in them pointy hats.

      January 2, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Aimen

      Whether a religion is man made or not is not the issue; Mans inability to disagree with another’s religious believes is.

      On a different note; from a historical prospective, this kind of violence against Christians in EYPT is not the norm. While religious discrimination and prosecution is part of the fabric; this level of barbaric atrocity is a new phenomena. The worst part of it is that the government is turning a blind eye on this escalation of violence against Christians; in essence emboldening the Muslim extremists giving them a green light to resume their activities.

      The sad part of all of this is that its not limited to the Middle East. This could happen any where its allowed to…

      January 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.