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Statement following the murder of seven, and the wounding of at least a dozen others, outside a monastery in Upper Egypt.

Statement by His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, following the murder of seven, and the wounding of at least a dozen others, outside a monastery in Upper Egypt

2 November 2018

Today’s heinous attack on unsuspecting pilgrims visiting a monastery to celebrate the baptism of a child and offer prayers marks another grotesque development in recent attacks on Christians in Egypt.

Only May of last year, pilgrims were similarly stopped by Islamists, who killed 28 women, children and men, and left others injured and grieving until today. It is hard to fathom what one might think could be a justification or a result out of today’s or similar attacks. It is difficult to believe that anyone can find justification to accept, let alone, perpetrate acts like this, and yet they do.

Those who were murdered can never return, and some who were injured and affected will never fully heal, and so the purpose of speaking out is not merely to express anger, but to call upon the humanity and humaneness of perpetrators of this crime, and similar crimes past and present, appealing to the sense and mercy of those who may, as a result, refuse to carry out such barbaric brutality ever again.

As we farewell those who have departed, we do so in the spirit of hope and the resurrection that awaits us; as we comfort those injured and grieving, we do so in the spirit of confidence in God’s healing hand; and as we consider the effect this attack has on us all as Coptic Orthodox Christians, we do so in the spirit of the love and empowering grace that we are all called to live.

We pray repose for our departed children and brethren, healing for the injured, and comfort for those mourning and directly affected by this crime. We also pray for those further afield who continue to face similar attacks merely for living and expressing their faith, whatever that may be. We also pray God’s peace upon Egypt, and all her people.

*Ends*

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