Thanks to Dar al-Masih - I have a special affection for the Coptic Christians of Egypt. Here are some updates about what has been going on with them since the New Year's church bombing in Alexandria.
Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious Islamic university (locatd in Cairo, Egypt), cut off talks with the Vatican after Pope Benedict condemned the Alexandria bombing. Egypt's highest cleric, Ahmed Al-Tayeb, called Benedict's words an "unacceptable interference in Egypt's affairs."
The Palestinian Islamist group "Army of Islam" has been connected with the church bombing. An Army of Islam spokesperson denied this, blaming the bombing on Israel instead.
Shortly after the bombing, the man responsible for a drive-by shooting at another Coptic church a year ago was sentenced to death for his actions. I am opposed to the death penalty, but this is uplifting news in that a Muslim in a Muslim-majority country is being punished for the murder of Christian minorities. Perhaps this will lead to greater respect and freedom for Copts in the future.