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Letter to Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt

Letter to Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt by the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit on killings of 21 Egyptians at the hands of militants.

17 February 2015

Your Holiness,

The World Council of Churches joins the people of Egypt, the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, all affected churches in Egypt, the leadership of Al Azhar al-Sharif, and all right-minded people in mourning the victims of the latest atrocity by extremists associating themselves with the so-called 'Islamic State' group, and in denouncing the perpetrators of this bloodshed.

We express our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the young Egyptian men who had travelled to Libya to work for their support, and who became the victims of this outrage. We pray for them, their communities and for the whole Church in Egypt, from whom these precious lives have been torn.

We also associate ourselves with the prayer of His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, that the value of God's creation and human life may become more evident to those who carried out these horrific crimes, and that further brutality may be avoided.

These killings add to the lengthening litany of brutality conceived by minds disordered by a twisted misinterpretation of religion. We pray for metanoia - a transformative change of heart on the part of those driven to such inhuman violence and hatred of the other.

With this message of condolence and sympathy, I wish to assure Your Holiness of the World Council of Churches' commitment to active solidarity across faith and community boundaries with all those affected by such violence and hatred, and with all those who seek peace and who recognize the God-given human dignity and equal and inalienable human rights of all.

May the memory of all those innocent victims be eternal in our Lord’s heart.

In Christ

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General secretary