Coptic Bishop Anba Damian © Michael Merten (KNA)
Following the attack on Coptic Christians in Cairo, the bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Germany, Anba Damian, has called on Egyptian schools to strengthen religious tolerance.
People are not born as terrorists, Damian explained in Hoxter on Thursday. They would be shaped by teaching, education and information. Damian demanded that in the country with a Muslim majority, "religious education should be looked at closely so as not to sow the seeds of hatred in childhood and to learn and practice peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance".
Rapid clarification necessary
To prevent such attacks in the future, rapid clarification is necessary, the bishop warned. "This cruel act was motivated both politically and religiously."Denying the problems has never led to a solution, he said. Such an attack would also affect the vein of tourism in Egypt. The country on the Nile should not be allowed to sink into chaos, but should once again take its place in the family of nations, Damian warned.
The victims of the terrorist attack will be commemorated on Sunday with a service at the Coptic Orthodox monastery in Hoxter, Germany. The liturgy will be held in German.
Attack of the terrorist militia "IS"
In one of the most serious attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt to date, 25 people were killed on Sunday. Almost 50 people were injured. The explosion occurred near the well-known Coptic Cathedral of St. Mark in the adjacent church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The terrorist militia "Islamic State" claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. About ten percent of Egypt’s approximately 90 million people are Coptic Christians.
The Coptic Orthodox Church has existed since the first century A.D. It is thus one of the oldest churches. According to Damian, it has about 12 churches in Germany.000 members. The official residence of the diocesan bishop Damian is the Coptic Orthodox monastery in Hoxter.