Stevenage-based Coptic Christian bishop says yesterday’s bomb attack which killed 25 worshippers in Egypt was ‘the worst of humanity’

His Grace Bishop Angelos

His Grace Bishop Angelos - Credit: Archant

The day after 25 Coptic Christians were murdered in a bomb attack on an Egyptian church, the Stevenage-based UK spokesman for the church said we have witnessed the ‘worst of humanity’.

The Coptic Church headquarters at Shephalbury Manor

The Coptic Church headquarters at Shephalbury Manor - Credit: Archant

The attack happened during Sunday worship at St Peter’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo.

The dead were mainly women and children and many more were injured.

His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, who is based at the church’s UK centre at Shephalbury Manor, said: “Today is a day of many emotions: sadness, nervousness, uncertainty, and understandably even anger at times. “That is because yesterday was a day in which we witnessed the worst of humanity, when innocent women and children who decided to worship their God in their spiritual home had their lives needlessly and senselessly ended without warning.”

Bishop Angelos said families – many of whom have connections to the UK’s Coptic congregations, had been ‘separated and broken’ by the attack which he said had affected millions of people around the world.

Coptic cathedral of St George, Shephalbury Manor, Stevenage

Coptic cathedral of St George, Shephalbury Manor, Stevenage - Credit: Archant

He called for the perpetrators to be ‘rightly and fairly held to account’, not as a call for vengeance, but as a ‘deterrent’ against possible future attacks.

And in a comment made even more poignant because of Christmas season, he added: “As Christians, we have hope in the belief that good will prevail despite the seemingly increasing evil in our world.”

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Egypt’s Coptic Christians make up about 10 per cent of the country’s population.

The Coptic church dates from about AD 50 when the evangelist St Mark is said to have visited the province.

Egypt’s Coptic minority has repeatedly complained of discrimination by the nation’s Muslim majority and there have been a number of terror attacks against Coptic Christians in recent years.

The centre in Stevenage sits alongside the Cathedral of Saint George, the only Coptic cathedral in the UK.