Statement by the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark of Jersey City On the Murder of 21 Coptic Egyptian Citizens in Libya

For Immediate Release

The Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark of Jersey City condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Coptic Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIS terrorists. We offer our condolences to His Holiness Pope Tawadrous II and to the families of the Martyrs. We also offer our support to the Egyptian government, led by President El-Sisi in taking all necessary measures of adequate response and remedy. We grieve with all Egyptian people for our fellow citizens and children.

This deliberate killing of innocent people is the most recent of many atrocities perpetrated by extremist -affiliated terrorists against the Christians of the region and fills the cup of the cruel and evil actions being taken today by ISIS and the rest of their likes as a direct result of the wrong and misleading view of God and religion.

This heinous act underscores the urgent need for the peaceful teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian faith to be welcomed, considered and promoted in Egypt and all Arab Countries. Christians must have their freedom to worship, build their churches and preach the gospel with liberty and without persecution.

Although this recent act of cowardice and evil resulting in the deaths of 21 young men left the church with a heavy heart, the church will never be shaken by such evil acts. Our church is a church of martyrs with a longstanding history of overcoming persecution in a peaceful manner, namely by fasting and prayer. So once again as we begin the Fast of Great Lent, we fast and pray for the 21 young men, their families, for all Egyptian citizens, for all victims of evil acts, for peace and we entreat our God to protect His people. And as our Lord Jesus Christ taught us, we also pray for those perpetrators of evil “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”(Matthew 5:44,NKJV)

May the Lord protect all of us against all evil.

For donations to help the families of the victims, please donate through our website and under the Description/Memo, enter “Martyrs of Libya”.

For comments and words of comfort, please visit our In Memorial page.

For press comments, please contact Mr. Joseph M. Ghabour, Esq., the Deacon of Public Relations at 201-333-0004. You can find more information about St. Mark’s at: http://SaintMark.com