Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

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Statement Regarding the Christians in Egypt

August 16, 2013

COLLEYVILLE, TX. August 16, 2013 -- A statement from H.G. Bishop Youssef regarding the Christians in Egypt.

We entreat God of all compassion and Lord of all consolations to look from heaven upon Egypt and to protect her from these times of tribulation encountered by the most horrific beatings and killings of Christians, the sabotage of Christian businesses, and the desecration and burnings of churches throughout Egypt. The world is witnessing the most deplorable bloodshed of Christians, who are relentlessly being attacked in the most vicious and barbaric manner on a day-to-day basis. Since August 14, 2013 till now, more than sixty churches were burned, innocent victims suffered broken bones, and callous murders continue to be vent upon the Christians of Egypt.

These events began long ago, but reached a peak after June 30, 2013, when the Egyptian people, Muslims before Christians, made their voices known on the issues regarding the Egyptian president and demanded that he vacate his office of the presidency in peace. This was the will of the people, a nation that has strived for democracy and courageously declared their voices to be heard for his impeachment. Demonstrations throughout Egypt were peaceful until his supporters decided to retaliate and deliberately poured out their vengeance upon the already indigenous Christians who comprise merely one-tenth of the population. The Coptic Christians have never incited any violence toward anybody. To what avail are these lethal attacks? How can such atrocious barbarian tactics be justified by any religion or any civil nation?

On behalf of the innumerable amount of Coptic Christians incessantly subjected to inhumane treatment, violence, and slaughter, and their livelihood being ripped away from them by the destruction of their churches, businesses, belongings, and their own lives, we implore God to have mercy upon Egypt, to protect our country from the escalating aggression against her Christians, to help stabilize this country for peace, and protect the Christians from their day-to-day mangling, as He promised, "Blessed is Egypt My people..." (Isaiah 19:25).

The time has come, my beloved brothers and sisters, faithful in the Lord and good citizens of the earth, to come together in humble prayer. Let us reach out to our friends, colleagues, and neighbors who have been outraged by these ungodly events. Let us continue to love and educate the world about our strong and unwavering Christian faith. Let us remain confident in the promises of our Lord to protect His children,"For thus says the Lord of hosts: 'He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.'" (Zechariah 2:8).

Pray for all in Egypt.

Bishop Youssef
Bishop, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern US