Bishop Angaelos
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Senior Coptic bishop inspired by resilience of Egyptian Christians after church shooting

Fri 29 Dec 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

Coptic Orthodox Bishop of London, Archbishop Angaelos has expressed sadness over a church shooting in Cairo, Egypt  that killed 10 people on Friday.  

 

Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the attack outside the Coptic Church of Mar Mina left at least one policeman dead and eight others wounded, including two critically.

The attack took place when two gunmen on a motorbike opened fire outside the church, he said.

Egyptian security officials said earlier that two policemen were killed in the shootout.

AP Photo/Amr Nabil

 

Bishop Angaelos told Premier that despite numerous attacks against Christians in the country this year, the Church remains resilient.

He said: “While we as a Church have to keep our congregation and faithful safe, so we put in whatever protocol and security we need to keep them safe, yet the churches are still full.

“The faithful are still going, attending, praying. We’re very inspired by this resilience and by their ability to continue on.”

He added that churches around the world should use these tragedies to recognise the importance of standing up for religious freedom.

“In Egypt, the State doesn’t stop people from gathering but there is a tendency within some elements in the community to think Christians don’t have the right to worship,” Bishop Angaelos said.

“We need to use our right to worship to speak up and support them.

“This intolerance becomes blind to everything but itself and as Christians we need to be light and hope in the face of this intolerance.”

AP Photo/Amr Nabil

 

He also asked for people to pray for the safety of Christians during the festive period: “In Egypt the public holiday is Friday… so Friday is a very busy day so they’ve obviously chosen Friday for maximum impact.

“Be praying for those who lost loved ones today and the past year.

“For those who are survivors and whatever trauma they will carry… for the families of loved ones, and that God continues to strengthen people and give them a sense of faith that carries them through these trying times.”

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