Pope Francis condemns brutal attack on Egyptian Christians

Pope Francis condemns brutal attack on Egyptian Christians

The Pope has dubbed the latest attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt as “another act of ferocious violence”.

The most recent religious terror attack in the country left 29 dead and about 25 wounded when a bus taking the Christians to a remote monastery was fired upon.

The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the massacre, which has followed a string of similarly brutal attacks targeting Coptic Christians.

Pope Francis said: “The victims, amongst which were also children, were killed after having refused to renounce their Christian faith.”

He prayed the Lord “may welcome these courageous witnesses, these martyrs, in his peace and convert the hearts of the terrorists”.

The masked assailants arrived in three cars at about 10.30am last Friday, in Minya – an area known as a stronghold for Egypt’s Christian community.

The government have given assurances that security measures for the Catholic community in the country will be increased.

President Michael D. Higgins released a statement shortly afterwards saying the attacks in Egypt were an issue he had discussed with Pope Tawadros II last month.

“At our meeting we discussed the importance of freedom of belief and expression – a fundamental freedom which has been threatened by these recent attacks,” he said

He added: “On behalf of the people of Ireland, may I express my deepest sympathies to the people of Egypt, and in particular to the relatives of the victims, following the brutal attack on a group of Coptic Christians travelling to the holy site of Saint Samuel.”