Egypt bombing shows risks for Mideast Christians: Williams

1st January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The attack on a Coptic church in Egypt which killed 21 people shows the growing perils faced by Christian minorities, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said Saturday.

Williams, the leader of Anglicans worldwide, said the bombing on New Year's Eve in Alexandria was "yet another dreadful reminder of the pressure of Christian minorities are under in the Middle East, echoing the atrocities we have seen in recent weeks.

"The Coptic community and other Christian groups in Egypt can be sure of our deep sorrow at this terrible event and our continuing prayers and support for them," he added in a statement.

"We know the long and honourable history of co-existence of Christians and Muslims in Egypt and are confident that the overwhelming majority of Egyptian people will join in condemning this and similar acts."

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak accused "foreign hands" of carrying out the attack in Alexandria, which also injured 79 people.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Al-Qaeda has called for Egypt's Copts to be punished over claims that two priests' wives they say had converted to Islam were being held by the church against their will.

The Christian minority in Iraq is living in fear after a wave of attacks in recent months, with two people dying in Baghdad in the latest bombings on Thursday.

© 2011 AFP

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