Egyptian Coptic Christians are still reeling from a series of attacks over 2016, including the murder of 25 people during an explosion at St Peter’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo last December.
HG Bishop Angaelos said: ‘Crimes will always be perpetrated and criminals will continue to exist, but such a strategic, vicious act is difficult to comprehend. It is indeed difficult to understand how a person might plan and execute such a horrific, ruthless and barbaric plot against innocent women and children.
‘The only way to do this is to completely disregard the relevance, value and sanctity of any life potentially affected by these actions’.
He said that, in recent decades, there had been recurring acts of violence against Christians and Christian communities in Egypt. ‘Time and time again, very few, if any, perpetrators have been brought to justice, and we subsequently continue to witness an escalation of these attacks.
‘This is not a matter of blame, but accountability, with an expectation that barbaric acts such as these should never occur, but if they do, that their perpetrators are rightly and fairly held to account. This is not a call for vengeance, but a deterrent against similar future plans and aspirations’.