Archbishop Grieves Martyrs

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was heartbroken by the murder of 28 Coptic Christians on pilgrimage. The attack by masked gunmen left 22 others injured. Children were among the bus passengers. The attack occurred 140 miles south of Cairo.

“I am heartbroken by the news of another awful attack on men, women, and children, murdered because of their faith in Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Justin Welby said. “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.”

News of this slaughter was overshadowed by media headlines about the suicide bombing after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

“It was said enough seeing what happened in Manchester,” said Anba Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom. “This was very similar. It was a bus filled with family members who were traveling on a pilgrimage to a monastery.”

While no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack — the fourth targeting Christians since December 2016 — it bore the hallmarks of Islamic State.

The Rev. Rafic Greiche, a spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic church, told a local television station: “The growing number of these terror attacks is not at all reassuring.”

Two suicide bomb attacks at churches in Alexandria and Tanta left 45 people dead on Palm Sunday this year. A suicide bombing at a chapel next to St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo killed 29 people on Dec. 11, 2016.

Ten percent of Egyptians are Christians.

John Martin


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