Archdiocese Calls for Congressional Hearing on the Pattern of Escalating Violence Against the Christian Minority in Egypt


Egyptian Christians touch a blood-splattered image of Jesus Christ, inside the Coptic Orthodox church in Alexandria, January 2, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah DalshEgyptian Christians touch a blood-splattered image of Jesus Christ, inside the Coptic Orthodox church in Alexandria, January 2, 2011. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah DalshShortly after midnight on January 1, 2011 as a Coptic Christian mass was concluding, a suicide bomber exploded a bomb as the Christian congregation was leaving The Saints Church in the port city of Alexandria, Egypt. The innocent worshippers were gathered to give thanks for the New Year. At least 25 were killed and more than 90 were injured in the attack. This was one of the most heinous terrorist attacks on a Coptic Christian church in over a decade, and it marks a serious escalation of organized violence against the Coptic Christian minority in Egypt.

The Egyptian President, Husni Mubarak has condemned the barbaric attack on this church which not only killed Christians, but wounded some Muslims in a nearby mosque.

We condemn these barbaric acts of hatred and targeted persecution against our brethren in Egypt. We demand a Congressional hearing on this and other heinous attacks against the Christian population in Egypt, and we expect the United States Congress to take action to address the painful absence of basic and fundamental human rights in Egypt.

+ The Office of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America – Englewood, NJ

His Eminence Metropolitan Philip calls on all supporters of the Christian minority of Egypt to write their congressional representatives with this same message of solidarity.

Members of the Archdiocese from the United States are particularly encouraged to write their US Representative and Senator. While you are welcome to use the language of the Archdiocese statement above in your letter, please consider these tips for writing effective letters to congress. Please click here to find contact information for your congresspersons.

For additional background on the story of the attack, please see these media sources:

Car Bomb Kills 21 at Egyptian Church

Security Tightened After Deadly Church Blast in Egypt

Egypt's Christians pick up the pieces after deadly News Year's Eve church bombing

Egypt Copts: Christmas in wake of bombing

Egyptian Muslims Rally in Solidarity with Coptic Minority

Egypt's Facebook Users Rally behind Copts

Mourning Copts: Photo Gallery

Update, Jan. 7, 2011: Egypt's Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass

Egypt’s majority Muslim population stuck to its word Thursday night. What had been a promise of solidarity to the weary Coptic community, was honoured, when thousands of Muslims showed up at Coptic Christmas eve mass services in churches around the country and at candle light vigils held outside.

From the well-known to the unknown, Muslims had offered their bodies as “human shields” for last night’s mass, making a pledge to collectively fight the threat of Islamic militants and towards an Egypt free from sectarian strife.