CHICAGO (CBS) — A Tinley Park family was mourning the loss of eight relatives killed in Egypt, when masked militants shot and killed at least 28 people, and wounded 25 others, on a bus filled with Coptic Christians.
Mohsen Morkous, an American citizen, was killed in the attack. His wife, Samia Ibrahim, also was shot, but survived, and was recovering Sunday in Egypt.
Family members in the Chicago area were left trying to make sense of it all.
At the St. George Coptic Orthodox Church in Monee, Gerges Morkous turned to his Christian faith for strength, after eight members of his family were among the 28 Coptic Christians killed in an attack on a bus in Egypt.
His uncle, Mohsen, and aunt, Samia, had traveled to their homeland to visit their children and grandchildren. They were on their way to church when gunmen shot the tires out of a bus, boarded, and then asked each person to denouce their Christian faith.
“When they asked each person about it, everybody who said no, they shot them in the head,” Gerges said. “They have no mercy; they shot the men, children, women, everybody.”
Mohsen, the couple’s two sons, a 4-year-old granddaughter, a 12-year-old grandaughter and three other relatives were slain. Samia was among the 25 wounded.
Funeral services and burials were held on Friday.
“Two of them were my best friends,” Hanna Keroles said.
Keroles used live in Egypt and grew up with Mohsen’s sons.
“What happened two days ago to my friends was too hard to see,” he said. “We didn’t do anything to those people who do this to us.”
Yet, the Morkous family said they forgive the terrorists who killed their relatives.
“We also pray for those terrorists that God may open their eyes and soften their hearts and forgive them their wickedness,” the preacher said at Sunday’s service at St. George.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the murders. The Morkous family said attacks against Christians in Egypt is an ongoing problem, but as always, they refuse to retaliate.