Ecumenical News International

The Protestant church is appalled at the murder of Egyptian Christians

February 17, 2015

Hanover/Geneva (epd). The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) and international ecumenical organisations have expressed horror at the execution of Egyptian Christians by terrorists from the "Islamic State". The EKD had been appalled to hear of the killing of "our Coptic brothers", wrote Petra Bosse-Huber, EKD bishop for ecumenical relations and ministries abroad, in a letter of condolence to Patriarch Tawadros II. "It is our urgent concern to assure you of our prayers for the victims of violence and fanaticism," she told the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt.

The Coptic Orthodox Church on Monday confirmed the death of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped while working in Libya. Prior to that, a video was distributed by a Libyan offshoot of the terror militia "Islamic State" showing the decapitation of the Copts.

Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, expressed his solidarity to the victims' relatives after this latest atrocity. "We pray for them, their communities and the whole Church in Egypt, from whom these precious lives have been torn," Tveit wrote to Patriarch Tawadros. "These killings add to the lengthening litany of brutality conceived by minds disordered by a twisted interpretation of religion." 

Bishop Munib Younan, president of the Lutheran World Federation, called the killings an assault on humanity and the believers of all religions who stand up for peace, justice and freedom. "Your struggle is our struggle, your pain is our pain," the Palestinian bishop wrote to the Coptic Patriarch.

The Coptic Orthodox Church, which has existed since the first century A.D., is the largest Christian community in the Arab world. The number of Copts is estimated at approximately ten million worldwide, most living in Egypt.



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