AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II: Let us pray also for the evil who attack churches

Kyoto - Following the attacks on churches and the massacres of Christians that have bloodied Egypt in recent months, "the Coptic Church has prayed for all", even for "the evil people" who have attacked churches and Christians . With these words, the Coptic Patriarch has again given witness of the transparent faith with which many Coptic Christians have experienced the many experiences of martyrdom that have marked the recent journey of their Church. He did this during an interview with the Japanese television network Asahi, reiterating his confidence in the power of prayer, "which can change hearts".
The interview was released by Patriarch Tawadros during the Japanese visit that the Coptic Primate of the Coptic Church is carrying out in several communities of the Coptic diaspora and starting from August 30, will continue in Australia. During his stay in Japan, Tawadros also inaugurated the Cathedral of Our Lady of St. Mark in Kyoto, the first Japanese Coptic church.
In the interview with Asahi TV, the Coptic Patriarch also stated that the bond between Christians and Muslims in Egypt is strong and well-rooted, pointing out that terrorists strike Coptic Christians in order to destroy this bond and thus try to dismantle national unity. In this context - Tawadros insisted - attempts to justify terror with religious topics also call into question all subjects engaged in religious education, who must prove worthy of their task and not allow alibi to fanaticism and intolerance . With regards to the ties with other Churches and Christian communities, the Primate of the Coptic Church emphasized that, apart from differences, all Christians are united by faith in Christ, the Gospel, and to share together "the expectation of the Kingdom of Heaven".
In Egypt, the ecclesiastical authorities say that they are not organizing pilgrimages, school camps for young people, and crowded spiritual meetings, as suggested by police forces and civilian authorities for security reasons, after the series of targeted attacks by jihadists against Coptic Christians. The patriarchal provision remained in force in July and August, though not all of them respected it. Now, a new statement released by the Coptic Patriarchate has reiterated that this provision has not been revoked. In this way, attempts are being made to curb the initiatives of religious houses and reception centers that had already made public their willingness to reopen the doors to visitors and pilgrims at the beginning of September.