JNS.org – The ongoing turmoil in Egypt “is not a political struggle, but a war against terrorism,” the head of the Catholic Church in Egypt, Bishop Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, Patriarch of Alexandria, said in a recent statement.
“With pain, but also with hope, the Catholic Church in Egypt is following what our country is experiencing: terrorist attacks, killings and the burning of churches, schools and state institutions,” Bishop Sidrak said.
The Catholic leader, echoing comments by other leaders of Christianity in Egypt, condemned the media coverage of the events in Egypt.
“Our thanks to all Egyptian and international media that report the news and events objectively and impartially while condemning those media that promote lies and falsify the truth in order to mislead world public opinion,” he said.
Bishop Sidrak also reaffirmed his support for the Egyptian military, saying, “Our support is strong, conscious and free for all state institutions, especially the Egyptian police and armed forces, for its effort to protect the homeland.”
In a show of solidarity, Bishop Sidrak issued thanks to Muslims who “have stood by our side, as far as they could, in defending our churches and our institutions.”
Pope Francis I, head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, also called for peace in Egypt during his Sunday address in St. Peter’s Square on Aug. 18.
“We continue to pray for peace in Egypt together, Mary Queen of Peace pray for us,” Pope Francis said.
While Coptic Orthodox Christians comprise the majority the roughly 8.5 million followers of Christianity in Egypt, the Coptic Catholic Church has about 160,000 followers.