A 10 year-old Egyptian schoolgirl was killed on the streets of Cairo as she walked home from Bible study class, a shooting many believe is the result of rising tensions between Muslims and Christians in that troubled nation.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Jessi Boulus died from a single bullet wound to the chest on August 6 as she walked home from class.
Jessi’s mother told the BBC that she believes her daughter was targeted because she was Christian.
“She was my best friend, my everything. Jessi was just becoming a young woman,” she said of her only child. “Every woman dreams of becoming a mother, and for 10 years I was lucky enough to be a mum. I’ll miss Jessi calling me mum – I know I won’t ever hear it again.”
The girl’s father was equally heart-broken. “Jessi was everything to us. Her killers didn’t know that Jessi was my life – my future. They killed our future. I lived for her. We both did.”
Supporters of ousted President Mohammad Morsi began targeting Christians just after Morsi was deposed by the Egyptian military on July 3 of this year. Within days, Amnesty International was reporting that security forces loyal to Morsi stood by during a brutal attack on Coptic Christians on July 5, abandoning six imperiled Christian men by leaving them at the mercy of an angry mob. Four were killed and another hospitalized.
“[I]n the last three weeks or so, we’ve seen Christians targeted, especially a Coptic priest who was killed in northern Sinai,” reports Jerry Dykstra, spokesman for Open Doors USA. “An Egyptian businessman was killed and beheaded in northern Sinai. Churches were also burned, and Christians were driven out of their communities.”
This is all due to accusations that Christians helped, or at least supported, the overthrow of Morsi.
Speaking to Christian Today, her uncle, Nasr Allah Zakara said that Jessi had an eerie premonition of her death. She was becoming very concerned about the violence in Egypt and was sometimes so afraid for her safety that she would ask her Sunday school teacher to escort her home from Bible school.
“She said she didn’t feel safe,” Zakaria said. “She asked her mother and father, ‘What if I am at a protest and I got shot in the chest? What would happen to me?’”
The only good news to come out of this story is the certainty that little Jessi, who was killed on the Feast of the Transfiguration, no longer knows those fears as she rests in the eternal peace of the Lord she loved.
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