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Condolence letter to the Coptic Orthodox Church

Condolence letter by WCC general secretary Olav Fykse Tveit following the vicious attack on innocent worshippers in the Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt when a bomb was detonated at the conclusion of the celebration of a New Year's midnight mass. At least 21 people have been killed and more than 80 injured by the attack.

01 January 2011

Geneva, 1 January 2011

Your Holiness,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It is with great sadness and shock that I received the news of the bomb attack on the Qeddiseen Coptic Orthodox church in Alexandria on New Year’s eve, especially that the attack targeted, once again, innocent worshippers celebrating the midnight mass of the New Year.

With this letter, I want to express to Your Holiness the profound condolences of the ecumenical family and our prayers for the Church in Egypt, and especially for the families of the victims and for the wounded.

It is troubling to hear about continuous threats and attacks on the churches in Egypt and in other parts in the Middle East, and I want to assure Your Holiness that the World Council of Churches will continue to manifest its solidarity with the Coptic Orthodox Church, especially in these difficult times. As one ecumenical family we continue to hold the churches in Egypt in our prayers, and we continue to support the important efforts of the Coptic Orthodox Church in addressing these challenges.

Although this is not an occasion for us to rejoice, I wish Your Holiness a blessed season of the Nativity of our Lord and His Epiphany in the Jordan River. We pray that our Lord and Saviour will grant Your Holiness and all members of the Coptic Orthodox Church strength and courage to withstand the difficulties.

In Christ our Lord,

Rev. Dr Olav Tveit
General secretary
World Council of Churches