Friday, 21 January 2011

Calls for Unity after Alexandria Church Bombing

Coptic Cross (SVG version of Image:CopticCross...Image via Wikipedia
The following article is reproduced from the January edition of CTE News:

President Hosni Mubarak urged Egypt's Muslims and Christians to stand united against terrorism after a bombing outside the Church of Saints Mark and Peter (al-Qiddissin) in Alexandria. At least 21 people were killed and 70 hurt in the suspected suicide attack, which happened during a New Year's Eve service at the Church. In a rare televised address, Mr Mubarak said it bore the hallmark of "foreign hands" seeking to destabilise Egypt.

The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom issued a statement signed by Bishop Angaelos saying ‘We are deeply saddened and disturbed that once again, days of joy and celebration have been turned into a time of mourning and weeping. Our immediate thoughts and prayers are with all those who were affected by the bombing at the Church of Saints Mark and Peter in Alexandria: those who have lost their lives, their families, those who were injured, members of that parish, Christian communities in general, and Christians throughout the land of Egypt.’

Visitors from the Geneva offices of the World Council of Churches (WCC) were honoured to be received in Cairo, Egypt on Saturday 8 January 2011 by Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church. The Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, led the group to Cairo in order to offer personal condolences in the aftermath of the lethal bomb attack at the New Year on a church in Alexandria. Tveit expressed the sympathy and support of the WCC member churches to Pope Shenouda at this difficult time for Egypt. He gave his assurance that the fellowship of churches was united in prayer for the Coptic Orthodox Church and for all the people of Egypt. The WCC general secretary spoke of the cross as a symbol of solidarity shared by Christians around the world. “The cross serves as a reminder of the suffering borne in human life, and of Christ’s death on the cross, yet as a Christian emblem it also points toward resurrection, reconciliation and peace,” Tveit said.

In his message for Christmas, which the Coptic Orthodox celebrated on 7 January, Pope Shenouda focused on the love and peace of God towards everyone. “It is encouraging to see how his message inspired both Christians and Muslims to stand together against violence and attempts at dividing the people” Tveit said. “Pope Shenouda demonstrates that when spiritual leadership is done well, it can have tremendous influence in making peace.” Pope Shenouda stressed the importance of prayer to God, and the need for solidarity among all people.
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