JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The news of the deadly church bombings in northern Egypt hits close to home for members of the St. Demiana Coptic Orthodox Church in Jacksonville.
Many churchgoers woke up to the news of the attacks Sunday morning. Between the two bombings in Tanta and Alexandria, more than 40 people died and around 100 were injured. Both of the targets were Coptic Christian churches, a minority of 10% in the country.
Many members of the Jacksonville church have family members in or nearby the targeted cities.
"I want to call everybody at the same time to know what's going on, what happened. At that point, I don't care if it's Muslim or Christian," said Hanan Ayoub of Jacksonville.
Several members of Ayoub's family, including her mother, live in Egypt. She says she is worried because of the growing trend of attacks on religious holidays. Most recently, a church bombing in Cairo in December killed around 30 people.
"It's very scary. You never know when it's happening, what's coming next. I hope this is the last one," she said.
An ISIS affiliate has since claimed responsibility for Sunday's attacks. Meanwhile, Ayoub prays the attacks stop and hopes to spread a message of unity.
"I'm praying for peace, for Muslims, and Christians, and everybody. This is not the Egypt I want to introduce to my kids. This is not what I want," said Ayoub.
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