Armed and masked extremists who were riding in three SUVs opened fire on a bus filled with Coptic Christians just south of the Egyptian capital, killing 26 people including children, and wounded at least 25 others.
This has been the fourth vicious attack against Christians since December, and although no group claimed responsibility for this act of terrorism, it bears similarities to the Islamic State group.
The attack happened while the bus full of Christians was traveling on a side road in the desert, which led to a remote monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor in Mahagha, which is about 140 miles south of Cairo.
Officials who responded to the scene said witnesses saw between either and ten attackers who were dressed in military uniforms wearing masks. Khaled Mogahed, the Health Ministry spokesperson, said the death total is currently 26 people but can potentially rise. According to the Copts United news portal, only three children survived the attack.
Last month, Pope Francis visited Egypt to show his support for Christians in the mainly Arab nation who have been targeted by the Islamic State. Shortly after his visit, the Islamic State promised to escalate attacks against Christians and urged Muslims to stay away from Christian gathering places and Western embassies.
We don't know if the attacks against Christians will cease in Egypt, but it is a constant reminder to never take America's religious freedom for granted.