The Islamic State militants who mercilessly killed 29 Coptic Christians in a bus attack in May had demanded that the surviving women renounce Jesus Christ. However, they stood firm on their faith and refused to obey the order.
Mariam Adel, who was injured in the bus attack in Minya while on their way to a monastery, talked to media about what happened while still on her hospital bed. Her husband and nine other relatives were killed in the ambush, but she still refused to renounce her Christian faith and recite the Islamic creed, the Financial Times relayed.
"Renounce our faith? Of course not," Adel told the interviewer. "If we had, they might have let us off the bus and treated us well. But we only want Jesus and we are confident he will not leave us."
In the end, the ISIS militants demanded that the Coptic women hand over their jewelry and mobile phones, calling the items the "spoils" of war.
The Minya bus attack was the latest in the ISIS' string of attacks against Coptic Christians, who make up 10 percent of Egypt's population. The terror group has also urged its supporters to kill Copts and is now seeking to use the intolerance and discrimination against the minority for its own agenda.
Egyptian parliament Christian member Emad Gad fears that the attacks against Coptic Christians will continue. He said there are security measures, but the religious minority feels powerless against forces that continue to target them.
Coptic Bishop Makarios of Minya admitted that they badly need measures that will protect their community. Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared a temporary state of emergency and launched a crackdown on radical Islamic groups in the country but critics still echoed Gad's fears, the Washington Times reported.
"We are in dire need of preventive measures," Bishop Makarios said. "Each month we suffer an attack that is no less horrifying than the event that preceded it."
Mounir Megahed, a Muslim who heads the Egyptians Against Religious Discrimination, said el-Sisi's state of emergency did nothing to protect Christians from violent attacks. He also questioned the crackdown on activists and politicians while Salafi Islamists are still free to preach about damnation for Christians in Egypt.