Violence broke out April 6 after Coptic children allegedly drew crosses on the wall of an Islamic institute in Khosoos, north of Cairo, leaving four Copts and a Muslim dead. A funeral held for Coptic victims at St Mark's Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Pope in Cairo, likewise descended into violence after unknown assailants attacked the procession, leading to more deaths in the deadliest sectarian incident since President Mohammed Morsi was elected in June 2012.
The attack on the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral - a major site for Egypt's Christian population - has resulted in a backlash from the community.
Coptic parliamentarians criticised the government and police for failing to protect the iconic church. Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Church, told local media that Morsi's handling of the crisis suffered from "negligence and poor assessment of events", and that the attack "crossed all the red lines", an unusual move for the church - which has generally shied away from criticising the head of state.
Observers say the incidents expose the Copts' growing unease with the rise of Muslim political groups, and their concern for their community's security and future in Egypt.