Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Statement from His Grace Regarding Violence Eruption that Occurred at St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo

April 14, 2013

COLLEYVILLE, TX. April 14, 2013 -- Statement from His Grace Bishop Youssef, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States, regarding the violence which erupted at the St. Mark Cathedral—the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Cairo, Egypt, on April 7, 2013:

The world has been monitoring the historic transition of what was promised to be a surge of democracy for all Egyptian people, Christians and Muslims. The recent assail on April 7, 2013, at the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, in a series of other assaults on Copts at various districts throughout Egypt, has fundamentally undermined the movement with disgrace. The onslaught of innocent Christians in a pervasive and remorseless series of attacks severely threatens the healing of a wounded nation which has been marred by pandemonium and incessant, systematic subjugation of the marginalized Coptic people.

This most recent attack, during a funeral procession of Christian martyrs on the Cathedral grounds including the Papal Residence, is deplorable. Christians have the right to live in Egypt with every human dignity as any Muslim. In this sad occasion-another defining radical occurrence-law enforcement abandoned their call of duty to protect the victims and allowed extremists to dictate violence, resulting in more bloodshed and adversity amongst the people.

If the goal is to destroy Egypt and all hope for peace and democracy, then the persistent, religious persecution of the Copts in Egypt will achieve that futile goal without a doubt. History attests that never have offenses stemmed from the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt or in any other land. Thus, this persecuted, indigenous people have benevolently contributed to the prosperity of Egypt. Even though their blood stains the hands of their foes, the Church will continue to shine and thrive forever.

All God-fearing and civil-minded people of all religions and ethnicities around the world have been gazing in horror at the collapse of empty promises and demand the political and religious leadership of Egypt to swiftly denounce all forms of hatred, discrimination, and brutality targeting Christians.

Let us lift up our hearts to God in fervent prayer and supplication for peace throughout Egypt, our beloved Patriarch His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, and for all people suffering indignation.

Bishop Youssef
Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States