St. Mark Cathedral in Abbassiya, Cairo is the international headquarters of the Coptic Orthodox Church and it is where the Coptic Pope resides. Hence it has a great symbolic meaning in the hearts of all Copts worldwide. Today a red line has been crossed by Muslim mobs who attacked Copts at a very vulnerable moment as they were mourning the barbaric killing of innocent Christians going about their daily living. What type of human beings attack people when they are mourning the killing of their loved ones??? These Copts were killed simply for being Christians and not only killed but one was burnt alive! I cannot fathom nor comprehend the lack of sympathy by such Muslim mobs when seeing fellow humans going to bury their dead and instead of standing by them, pelting them with rocks, shooting at them and to add insult to injury the police fire tear gas at the Cathedral compound.
We must never forget however that we are Christians, we follow the teachings of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. We are peaceful people and do not react with violence, violence is not a part of our vocabulary. We follow the King of Peace Who taught us to love our enemies. We pray for these violent people who only know violence as a means to finding solutions. Violence and hatred never solves any issues but in fact exacerbates them further. I pray that the perpetrators of these crimes will be brought to justice and that the same old rhetoric that we are sick of hearing in Egypt will be turned into finding permanent solutions to the persecution and deep suffering of my dear Coptic brothers and sisters in Egypt.
Let us all lift up our hearts and bow down before Our Lord Who suffered for us to alleviate this injustice against the Copts of Egypt and to hear our cry on their behalf. May Lord have mercy.
Bishop of Melbourne