Catholic churches and schools are offering shelter to Coptic Orthodox families fleeing ISIS in Egypt’s north Sinai region.

Fr Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Church, said the aid in the city of Ismailia was being offered with the help of Caritas.

He told the Catholic News Service that ISIS militants were now “strongly entrenched” in north Sinai, having been allowed by Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood organisations to use tunnels from the Gaza Strip.

Fr Greiche praised local Muslims for helping embattled Christians amid the terrorism.

“Ordinary Muslims are kind and try to help however they can – they’re often first on the scene, rescuing the injured and taking them to hospitals,” he said.

Fr Greiche said he believed that Egyptian authorities were committed to protecting Christians against Islamists.

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