egypt

Priest says Egypt’s Christians feel they could be martyrs at any time

The mother of one of the victims of an attack on a group of Coptic Christians that took place May 26 attended a funeral at the Sacred Family Church in Minya, Egypt, that same day.

CAIRO — Christians in Egypt "are getting to this idea that we could be a martyr at any moment," the spokesman for the nation's Catholic bishops told Catholic News Service.

The spokesman, Father Rafic Greiche, also lamented the number of children killed in an attack on a bus carrying Coptic Orthodox Christians to St. Samuel Monastery in southern Egypt May 26.

At least 26 people, many of them children, were killed when masked assailants attacked the bus. Dozens of others were injured.

Catholic leaders: Papal trip was blessing for Christian, Muslim Egyptians

Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II attended an ecumenical prayer service at St. Peter’s Church in Cairo April 28. The church was the site of a December 2016 bombing. At a later meeting, the two signed a joint declaration to end a disagreement between the two churches over the sacrament of baptism.

AMMAN, Jordan — Pope Francis' historic, 72-hour visit to Cairo has left a profound mark on Egyptians, Catholic leaders said, as they anticipate increased ties with fellow Orthodox Christians and Muslims.

"The pope's visit was a big blessing to the Egyptians, both Muslims and Christians. It boosted the morale of the Egyptian people, especially after the Palm Sunday blasts," Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian bishops, told Catholic News Service by phone. "He gave a message of love, peace and hope."

POPE’S MESSAGE | Egypt is a beacon of hope and refuge

Pope Francis, accompanied by Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, and other Orthodox representatives, lit a candle April 28 outside the Church of St. Peter in Cairo. The pope lit the candle in remembrance of victims of a December 2016 bombing inside the church.

VATICAN CITY — Just as it had been for centuries, Egypt can be a sign of hope for those who long for peace, Pope Francis said.

In his weekly general audience May 3, the pope reflected on his recent visit to Egypt and said that because of its religious and cultural heritage as well as its role in the Middle East, Egypt has the task of promoting a lasting peace that "rests not on the law of force but on the force of law."

Pope tells Egypt's religious leaders to unmask violence

Pope Francis embraces Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University, at a conference on international peace in Cairo April 28. The pope was making a two-day visit to Egypt.

CAIRO — Calling his visit to Egypt a journey of "unity and fraternity," Pope Francis launched a powerful call to the nation's religious leaders to expose violence masquerading as holy and condemn religiously inspired hatred as an idolatrous caricature of God.

"Peace alone, therefore, is holy, and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," the pope told Muslim and Christian leaders at an international peace conference April 28. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was in attendance.

Pope to Egyptians: Let papal visit be sign of friendship, peace

People prayed at Mass April 25 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Cairo ahead of Pope Francis’ April 28-29 visit to the country. The pope released a video message stating his hope that the visit is a sign of friendship and peace.

VATICAN CITY — Praying that God would protect Egypt from all evil, Pope Francis told the nation's people that a world torn apart by indiscriminate violence needs courageous builders of peace, dialogue and justice.

Egyptian priest praises Muslim support of threatened Christians

Displaced Egyptian Christian families, who used to live in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, sat near their belongings after arriving Feb. 24 at a church in Ismailia. Catholic churches in Ismailia, with help from Caritas, have helped Coptic Orthodox fleeing Islamic State attacks in North Sinai.

OXFORD, England — A spokesman for Egypt's Catholic Church praised local Muslims for helping embattled Christians after a series of Islamic State attacks in Sinai.

Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Church, said Christians must differentiate between ordinary Muslims and extremists.

"Ordinary Muslims are kind and try to help however they can — they're often first on the scene, rescuing the injured and taking them to hospitals," he said March 3, as Christians continued to flee Egypt's North Sinai region.

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