2011-05-10 11:57:00

Russian Patriarch prays violence ends against Christians in Egypt

Moscow, May 10, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has expressed his condolences over the deaths of Christians and church fires in Giza on May 7 and 8 as a result of clashes between Muslims and Christians.

"The Easter joy over the resurrection of Jesus Christ was marred by sad news coming from Giza. The crimes committed on May 7 and 8 took the lives of our Christian brothers. Coptic churches were damaged," the Patriarch said in a letter to Coptic Patriarch Shenouda III.

The Russian Orthodox Church has on many occasions voiced its solidarity with Christians in countries where they are under pressure and where their rights to live and to profess their religion are being abused, he said.

"This time again we urge the Egyptian authorities, local Islamic leaders and international community to put an end to violence resolutely and unambiguously against the Christian minority, that has existed historically in Egypt," Patriarch Kirill said, according to a posting on the Moscow Patriarchate's website.

Patriarch Kirill is praying that the souls of those killed rest in peace and that stable civil peace be established in Egypt.