Coptic Bishop Anba Angaelos said that the Christian community in Egypt is ready to forgive those who are responsible for the Cairo church bombing that killed 25 people last Sunday.
Egyptian authorities identified 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafik Mohamed Mostafa as the suicide bomber who carried out the attack on the chapel on the grounds of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing and identified the bomber by his alias, Abu Abdallah al-Masri. Three men and one woman were arrested in connection with the attack.
Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the U.K., said in an interview with The Christian Post that Egyptian Christians are not going to retaliate.
“Historically in Egypt, after everyone of these attacks or similar attacks, of course there has been anger and public outcry, but there hasn’t been retaliation or revenge,” he said.
He added that Copts have not blamed anybody, and they are waiting for a formal investigation.
“We are praying that there is healing in the community. We are ready to and we already have forgiven people for doing this because at the end of the day, a lack of forgiveness harms us more than anyone else,” Angaelos continued.
A private funeral service was held for the victims on Monday, and a candlelight vigil was organized by community members in downtown Cairo on Wednesday. Angaelos also led a vigil and prayer service at the Westminster Abbey in London.
The attack on Sunday is seen as the worst act of sectarian violence since the bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria in 2011. Angaelos said that most of the attacks tend to happen in upper and rural Egypt.
Some Christians have criticized the government for failing to protect them, but Angaelos said that he understood the difficulties faced by the government in trying to prevent terror attacks.
“Trying to preempt what is going to happen is possibly a bottomless pit. What we need to do is to try to heal a community in which this is capable of happening,” he said.
Source: The Christian Times