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The Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison with His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in January
The Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison with His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in January

Condolences Following Cairo Attack

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and his predecessor have written to the Coptic Church in Egypt to express their shock and sadness at the bomb attack on the Coptic Cathedral complex in Cairo yesterday (Sunday).

At least 25 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in the bombing, with initial reports suggesting many of them are women and children.

The Rt Rev Dr Russell Barr has assured His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, who is the leader of the strongest Christian presence in the Middle East and North Africa, that the Church of Scotland stands in solidarity with Coptic Christians in these troubled times.

Dr Barr writes: “Such an attack against innocent Christians joining one another to worship God is despicable, the loss of life unimaginable, and I can only begin to imagine the grief and suffering of so many people.”

“I am aware that this attack strikes directly at the heart of the strongest Christian presence in the Middle East and North Africa and appears to be a direct attempt to fuel sectarian issues.”

“We pray the God of compassion and justice will give you the strength to face the challenges in front of you, and wisdom as you and your community respond to this attack by showing the loving, healing and reconciling face of Christ.”

The letter also includes a message from the previous Moderator, the Very Rev Dr Angus Morrison, who met Pope Tawdros in Cairo during an official visit to Egypt in January.

Dr Morrison writes: “All of us in the visiting Scottish group recall with great pleasure the time spent with Your Holiness, and our Coptic brothers and sisters earlier this year, and the gracious hospitality you showed to us. As members of the one family, be assured of our strong and prayerful solidarity at this painful time”

The Church of Scotland’s Mission Partner in Cairo, the Rev Colin Johnston, has been working as part of the Christian community in the city since May. Mr Johnston said on social media: “Obviously Christians are feeling very vulnerable, and a number of churches are closed with their gates locked. I passed the cathedral this afternoon and found a tense situation with people protesting, obviously angry about what had happened. This follows the killing of six policemen on Friday near the pyramids so let's hope and pray there is no escalation of violence.”


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