AFRICA/EGYPT - 21 Copts kidnapped and murdered by jihadists in Libya are “martyrs for the faith” says Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac

Monday, 16 February 2015

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – At the news of the massacre of 21 Egyptian Copts decapitated in Libya by jihadists affiliated with the so-called Islamic State (IS), the Patriarch of Alexandria of Coptic Catholics, Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, “offers his condolence to all the families of these martyrs who gave their lives for the faith, and at the same time expresses his gratitude to President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and all the institutions of the Egyptian government for giving an immediate response to this act of terrorism”.
In a statement given to Fides News through patriarchate personnel, the Primate of the Coptic Catholic Church says the tragic death of these Orthodox Coptic brothers is to be seen through the eyes of faith, and he underlines the importance of the fact that the entire country is united in its reaction to bloodthirsty barbarity on the part of jihadists, “This tragedy - Fides was told by Fr. Hani Bakhoum Kiroulos, Coptic Catholic Patriarchate secretary– is uniting the entire country, Christians and Muslims. If their aim was to divide us, they have failed. Immediate harsh condemnation came from Cairo’s Al Azhar University (the most important theological centre for Sunnite Islam: editor’s note:). And the swift retaliation on the part of the Egyptian air force on Islamic State bases in Libya also demonstrated that for the Egyptian government its citizens are all equal and that Egypt is suffering as a nation from the bloodthirsty delirium of the terrorists”.
A video of the decapitation of the 21 Copts kidnapped in Libya at the beginning of January, was put on line by jihadist websites yesterday 15 February. At dawn this morning, Egyptian Air force planes attacked and bombed jihadist positions in Libya, mainly in the area of Derna. “Revenge for Egyptian blood – says a statement issued by Egyptian armed forces regarding raids in Libyan territory - is an absolute right and will be implemented”. Egypt – the statement reads – claims the right to defend its national security and stability from any criminal attacks on the part of “individual terrorists or groups inside and outside the nation”. Egypt’s presidency has announced 7 days of national mourning for the 21 murdered Copts. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 16/2/2015).