Middle East and North Africa

World Leaders react to the “barbaric attack” in Egypt

Following the terrorist attack on Coptic Christian, going to a monastery in Egypt, the reaction of world leaders has been swift and unified in condemning the killing of the Christians which included women and children.

Pope Francis, who visited Egypt in April, and challenged the majority Muslim community to do all that is possible to fight terrorism described the incident as a “barbaric attack”. The Pope expressed his “solidarity with all those people who were affected by the shameful violence.” The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who sent the telegram to Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Sisi, said the attack was an “act of senseless hatred” which has caused Pope Francis particular bitterness.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said, in a statement, “In this time of deep sorrow and pain, we commit to prayer those who have died, those who have been injured and those who have lost loved ones. We pray that all might know the presence of God in this dark time and draw closer to the Great Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ.” The Archbishop expressed his personal grief saying, “I am heartbroken by the news of another awful attack on men, women and children, murdered because of their faith in Jesus Christ.” Welby prayed “for peace, and for a united rejection of the horrific actions of those who per
petrate terror.”

Addressing the Coptic Pope in Egypt with whom Archbishop Welby has developed a warm relationship, Welby said,
“I pray for HH Pope Tawadros II as he leads the Coptic Orthodox Church, for wisdom and courage, for unshaking faith, for steadfastness and for endurance. It was a privilege to welcome His Holiness to Lambeth Palace earlier this month and to pray with him at Westminster Abbey.” Welby added that, “During this visit His Holiness presented me with an icon of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt to escape King Herod’s persecution. Today we stand with all those who fear for their lives because of their faith. We stand with Pope Tawadros and all the Christians of Egypt, in prayer and solidarity.” He added.

In response to the killings, the American President, Donald Trump said “the bloodletting of Christians must end.”

Trump said, “This m
erciless slaughter of Christians in Egypt tears at our hearts and grieves our souls. Wherever innocent blood is spilled, a wound is inflicted upon humanity,” adding that  “this attack also steels our resolve to bring nations together for the righteous purpose of crushing the evil organisations of terror, and exposing their depraved, twisted, and thuggish ideology.”

Egyptian Fighter Jets target IS base in Lybia

The Coptic Christian community in Auckland met at the St Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Birkdale on the North Shore. Friday evening to pray for the victims of a deadly attack in Egypt. Father Bishoy Mekhaiel concerned for the increasing attacks on the Christian community in Egypt called for Christians to stand together in the time of grief.

In a swift reaction to the killing of the Coptic Christians on Friday, Egyptian air forces carried out six airstrikes later that day, in the Libyan city of Darna, targetting terrorist training camps.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said in a televised statement that the Egyptian forces hit terrorist training camps after the shooting attack.