Today, the National Council of Churches (NCC) issued a powerful condemnation of the recent terrorist attack that murdered at least 26 Coptic Orthodox worshippers and injured scores more outside The Saints Church in Alexandria, Egypt.
Dr. Michael Kinnamon, the General Secretary of the NCC, said, ”The perpetrators of this outrage are apparently so blinded by hatred that they have lost touch with the tenets of any known faith… It is simply agonizing to think that many around the world will mistake this horror as the attack of one religious community on another. Christians, Jews and Muslims around the world are united by their outrage and condemnation of this soul-less act… This is not a struggle between religions but between those who value the life of every neighbor and those who clearly do not.”
In addition, Dr. Kinnamon issued a message to the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying, ”attacks on Christians anywhere in the world are attacks on Christians everywhere. We know you share the pain we feel at this evil attack on our sisters and brothers in Alexandria. We hope you will express to President Mubarak and other government officials in Egypt that Christians and persons of faith in the United States look to them to protect Christians and other minorities in Egypt. We look to them to find the persons responsible for planning this attack, and bring them to justice.”
The NCC also sent a message of support and solidarity to our father, His Grace Bishop Serapion, who is a member of the NCC governing board.
Several Islamic and Jewish leaders also condemned the senseless terrorist attack in Alexandria. President Imam Mohamed Magid of the Islamic Society of North America, an association of Muslim organizations and individuals that provides a common platform for presenting Islam, issued a statement declaring, “It is a sad day for all people when a simple act of worship or community celebration is marked by violence and innocent deaths… These bombings are absolutely reprehensible. ISNA condemns any and all acts of violence against innocent civilians.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), the public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community, also expressed solidarity with the Coptic Orthodox Church. “We are pained to see the New Year begin with such blind hatred, bigotry, and wanton disregard for human life,” said JCPA President Rabbi Steve Gutow. “Every human being is created in the divine image. The targeting of any people because of their faith is an attack on all people of faith and indeed all humanity. Coptic Christians have had a peaceful home in Egypt for centuries. Their pain is our pain.”