Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Pope Benedict XVI condemns Egypt church attack

January 2, 2011

COLLEYVILLE, TX. January 2, 2011 --An article from USA Today expressing Pope Benedict XVI's reaction to the bombing outside the church in Egypt.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI says an apparent suicide bombing outside a Mass in Egypt that left 21 worshippers dead "offends God and all of humanity.

The pope offered condolences and expressed his grief for the victims and their families during his traditional Sunday Angelus prayer.

He compared the attack to bombs placed near churches in Iraq, saying both are meant to intimidate Christians and prevent them from attending services. Benedict has repeatedly denounced the violent campaign against Christians in Iraq blamed on al-Qaeda militants.

He also remembered the "numerous" pastoral workers killed in 2010. urged Christians to remain strong in the face of intolerance and violence in a New Year's appeal Saturday that came hours after the bomb blast.

The pope condemned a widening campaign against Christians in the Middle East in his homily at St. Peter's Basilica, echoing comments last month in which he called a lack of religious freedom a threat to world security.

"In the face of the threatening tensions of the moment, especially in the face of discrimination, of abuse of power and religious intolerance that today particularly strikes Christians, I again direct a pressing invitation not to yield to discouragement and resignation," he said.

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