Faith Matters

Archbishop calls for prayer for persecuted Christians in Egypt

This image released by the Minya governorate media office in Egypt shows bodies of victims killed when gunmen stormed a bus in the area on Friday May 26. Officials said dozens of people were killed and wounded in an attack by masked militants on a bus carrying Coptic Christians, including children, south of Cairo.

THE Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, has appealed to Irish Christians to offer prayer and support to the Coptic Christian community in Egypt, which is facing sustained persecution and deadly attack.

Last Friday, a bus carrying Coptic Christians was attacked by gunmen in Minya, south of Cairo, resulting in dozens of deaths, including those of children.

"While we are rightly appalled by callous attacks on citizens close to home at this time, I am acutely conscious that we must also condemn the atrocious killing and wounding of dozens of Coptic Christians in Egypt while travelling towards a monastery in recent days," said Dr Clarke.

"We remember those who bear the name of Christ there in our hearts and prayers. We should think of them as Christian martyrs.

"It is tragic that Coptic Christians in Egypt have increasingly become targets, with four brutal massacres since last December, including attacks on churches on Palm Sunday.

"In speaking out against these horrors, we also pray for those families who have been bereaved and for those who have been injured - for their recovery and wellbeing, and for those who are attending to their medical needs and welfare - praying in the name of the Prince of Peace, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ."

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