Visalia Coptic Christians pray in solidarity after deadly bombing at Egyptian churches

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- ISIS is now claiming responsibility for two bombings that killed 44 people Sunday morning in Egypt. The attacks happened during the start of Holy Week at two Coptic Christian churches.

In Visalia, officials at a Coptic Christian church say they are already working on ways to step up security. While members say they are just trying to be courageous, and they are using their faith to make that happen.

On the other side of the church's glass door, seven candles lit the front of the Coptic Christian Church in Visalia, and pews were filled with parents and children for a Palm Sunday service.

Though the men were on the left and women on the right, this congregation was not separated. The news of what happened several hours earlier in Egypt is bringing them closer together.

"Devastated," churchgoer Peter Mossad said. "Couldn't believe it was happening again."

Mossad says the attack on his fellow church is heartbreaking.

"It's not just because they are the same religion or they're people like us," he said. "It's just humanity. How can one human being do this to another human being and not think twice about it."

But Mossad says though people are angry, many of them are not letting the attack by ISIS weaken their belief.

"When you consider the people who have been away from the church when they see things like this, their faith is strengthened," he said.

It's faith, that in the midst of tragedy, remained strong during holy week. Bishop Serapion says the church would have it no other way.

"By this response, we overcome fear," he said. "As I told the people, the things in which we fear is the fear itself and not to allow the fear to enter our hearts."
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