Protests organized by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt over the death sentences for more than 400 of their co-religionsits were noted throughout the country. The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which was thrown out of power when President Mohammed Morsi was deposed in a coup d’etat in 2013, are also reacting to the presidential candidacy of General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
Violence spilled over from demonstrations in the Cairo suburb of Ain Shams when Muslim protesters attacked a Coptic Orthodox Christian church on March 28. Four people were killed in the attack on the church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael. Among the dead are a 25-year-old journalist and a Coptic Christian worshipper. When Egyptian security forces intervened, violence spread throughout the surrounding neighborhood. Muslim radicals are frequently whipped up into frenzy by their religious leaders on Fridays when they gather for prayer.
According to witnesses, Sameh Merry – a Coptic Christian woman – was murdered by Muslim protesters when they noticed that she had a small cross dangling from the rear-view mirror of her car. Other witnesses claim that she was killed because she was in possession of a firearm. Coptic Orthodox Bishop Raphael expressed condolences over the deaths.