The World Council of Churches (WCC) has joined its member churches, partners and people in Egypt as they mourn the killings of 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped by the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) militants in Libya.
“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,” said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary, in a letter addressed to Pope Tawadros II, patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, issued on 17 February.
“We pray for them, their communities and for the whole Church in Egypt, from whom these precious lives have been torn,” he added.
Tveit stressed that 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,” he said.
Tveit affirmed the WCC’s commitment towards “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”.