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Archbishop asks Christians to pray for Egypt's Copts following devastating bomb attack

At least 25 people killed in bomb attack on Cairo cathedral complex

December 14 2016The Anglican Primate of Australia, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, has asked Christians to pray for Egypt’s Copts after a devastating bomb attack at the cathedral complex in Cairo killed at least 25 people, many of them women and children. Dozens more were injured in the latest in a series of attacks on Egypt’s Christians by Islamic militants.

Egypt has seen a wave of attacks by militants since 2013 when the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi, an elected leader who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood, and launched a crackdown against Islamists.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the blast went off on the women’s side of the worshiping hall in the small church of St. Peter and St. Paul, attached to the Coptic cathedral in the capital’s Abassyia district. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which was quickly condemned by the Egyptian government and the head of Cairo’s Al-Azhar mosque, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning and one of the world’s oldest institutions of religious teaching.

Survivors described the church as being packed with worshipers during a national holiday to celebrate the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth. The blast shattered the silence of the hall as those gathered listened to a sermon partly honoring a deceased church member.  Bishop Angaelos, a member of the Anglican-Oriential Orthodox International Commission and the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, has published a thoughtful reflection on the atrocity on the Anglican Communion website