Great joy interrupted by pure evil. That is the truest way to consider what happened last Sunday as two Egyptian churches filled with worshipping Christians were targeted by Islamic State bombs.
Like their fellow Christians around the world, the Coptics, an Orthodox-Christian group, were celebrating Palm Sunday recalling the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and preparing themselves for the upcoming Holy Week.
At St. George’s Church, north of Cairo, social-media postings showed worshippers singing and waving palm fronds in celebration. That is, until a bomb, hidden beneath a front pew, exploded; and what was a heavenly moment in worship turned into a nightmare.
Images of joy instantly transposed to ones of grief and anguish as the explosion settled, revealing blood-stained palm fronds, pews and walls. The horror of pain and death was everywhere.
Several hours later, in the city of Alexandria, CCTV video showed a suicide bomber entering a second Coptic church. Shortly after, there is detonation. In the blink of an eye, 47 Christians lost their lives and more than 100 more were injured. The online videos and images clearly illustrated the juxtaposition of these of two deliberate acts, worshipping and killing, by two very different groups of people.
An instant analysis of the events and human damage would lead us to assume that evil had triumphed over good.
But has it?