In a span of two weeks, five Coptic Christians in Egypt met exactly the same horrible fate: brutally murdered with their throats slashed.
The killing spree started on Jan. 3 when a Coptic Christian store owner in Alexandria had his throat slashed twice from behind by a Muslim man who later confessed to killing the Christian for selling liquor in his store, the World Watch Monitor (WWM) said in a report.
On Jan. 6, the Coptic Christmas holiday, two more Christians—a 60-year-old man and his 48-year-old wife—were found dead in their beds in northern Egypt. Again, their throats were found slit.
The authorities claimed robbery was the motive—despite their findings that no valuables were taken from the Christian couple's home.
In its report, WWM noted that the police in Egypt "are keen not to label the incidents as sectarian."
"Copts have been terrified by the nature of the killings and believe the victims were singled out because of their faith," the Christian persecution watchdog body said.
On Jan. 13, a fourth Coptic Christian—a 35-year-old surgeon—was found dead, again with his throat slit in his residence in Upper Egypt. Just like in the previous similar killings, no valuables were taken away from his house.
The latest Coptic Christian killing occurred on Jan. 16 when a 37-year-old married father of two was found in his Cairo residence by his brother. Just like the four other Christian victims, his throat was likewise slashed. And once again there was no sign of robbery. "There was no sign of a struggle — everything was in its place. ... His wallet was still in his pocket with 400 Egyptian pounds [$21] in it," the victim's brother said.
Egypt is ranked as the 21st worst nation persecuting Christians, according to Open Doors USA's 2017 World Watch List.
Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that Egyptian prosecutors decided to drop the case against a Muslim mob accused of stripping a Christian grandmother naked and parading her in the streets in Egypt.
The prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence to convict the accused—even though they heard testimonies supporting the victim's claims from family members and the police officers who were present at the scene of the alleged crime.
The incident happened in May 2016 when a group of about 300 Muslims stripped naked 70-year-old Souad Thabet and paraded her through the streets of her village in Minya province.
Egypt has an estimated population of nine million Christians, mostly Orthodox Copts, accounting for about 10 percent of Egypt's population, which is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim.