STATEMENT – A bomb attack claimed the lives of at least 25 Coptic Christians gathered for Sunday Mass, December 11, 2016, in the Orthodox Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, adjacent to the Cairo Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, currently under renovation. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in communion with all the Churches of the Holy Land, condemns with the utmost firmness this heinous act which, with the utmost violence, ripped the lives of innocent people in prayer in a holy place.
The Patriarchate shares the grief of the Coptic Church and expresses its closeness and prayers during their terrible ordeal. May these martyrs, who have died because of their faith, intercede with our Lord for peace in the country and in the region!
The Jerusalem church reaffirms its support for the Coptic Church of Egypt, continually the target of attacks, violence and intimidation of all kinds. On January 1, 2011, a bomb attack in front of a Coptic Church in Alexandria, where the faithful gathered to celebrate the New Year, killed 21 people.
The Patriarchate prays that the initiatives and measures that have been set in place by the Egyptian government for the protection and free exercise of worship of the Coptic community, and religious minorities in general, will continue to be implemented and be successful, despite the difficulties and threats.