To: His Holiness SHENOUDA III
Pope of Alexandria and
Patriarch of the Throne of St. Mark in All Africa and the Middle East
It has deeply grieved me to learn about the new attacks against Christians in Egypt and the bloody clashes in Cairo which have left several scores of people dead and over three hundred of people injured.
The Russian Orthodox Church knows not from hearsay what discrimination and persecution of believers are. The carcases of defiled churches still remaining in our land remind us to this day of the terrible years of persecution. That is why we feel so strongly for the suffering of our brothers in faith in Egypt. At an hour of trial, we turn to Almighty God with prayer asking Him to reinforce the spiritual resources of Egyptian Christians in their efforts to stand for their faith and to preserve their Christian identity.
We have repeatedly called upon all the major world powers and religious leaders to condemn the persecution of Christians and called the Egyptian authorities to do all that is necessary to ensure real freedom of religion and security for all citizens regardless of their religious or ethnic background.
I pray for the repose of those who died and for a speedy recovery of those who were injured. May the All-Merciful Lard give peace and prosperity to the old Egyptian land, to all its people and to the flock of the Coptic Church.
With love in Christ,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
October 11, 2011