Another Christian was killed in the town of al-Arish, northern Sinai governorate, on Saturday 13 January. Bassem Shehata Haraz returned to al-Arish six months ago, after fleeing earlier violent attacks against Christians in February 2017.
On 13 January, after closing his shop, Bassem was walking home with two other people. They were stopped by armed men who, after seeing a cross tattooed on Bassem's wrist, asked him whether he was a Christian. When he answered that he was, they shot him. They told the other two men to leave the scene.
In February 2017 more than 300 Christian families fled northern Sinai after seven Christians were killed in the space of a few weeks, and Muslim extremists issued a video threatening further violence against Christians.
Bassem is the second Christian who has been killed by extremists after returning to al-Arish. The first was Nabil Saber Fawzy, who was killed after returning to al-Arish in May 2017.
Islamic extremists in northern Sinai also regularly attack security personnel and people suspected of working with the authorities. Sufi Muslims have also been targeted by the extremists. In November 2016, Suleiman Abu Haraz, a highly respected 100-year-old Sufi Muslim leader, was beheaded, and 305 worshippers were killed in an attack on a Sufi mosque on 24 November 2017.
- For the Lord's comfort for those whose loved ones were killed by extremists in north Sinai
- For protection for Christians and others threatened by militants, and for wisdom as to how to respond to these threats
- That those responsible for the killings will be touched by God's love and will repent.