Violence against Coptic Orthodox Christians mar Christmas Celebrations

January 5, 2011

Father Marcos Marcos
The Coptic Orthodox Church in Canada
41 Glendinning Ave.
Toronto ON M1W 3E2

Dear Father Marcos,

On behalf of the 23 Christian denominations of The Canadian Council of Churches, representing 85% of the Christians in this country, I write to you in sympathy, solidarity and sorrow at this time of the deaths of Coptic Orthodox Christians in Alexandria, Egypt. I write also in the awareness of the on-going threats to our sister and brother Copts both abroad and here in our nation of Canada.

It is so deeply painful and disturbing that these deaths and threats should be occurring at this time of celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace. We have been following the news reports of these tragedies with great attention through the lead up to Christmas, old and new calendar, and praying with great fervour for you and the whole Copt community. It was a particular honour for me to have been asked to speak to the St. Mark’s Congregation and to pray with you on your Christmas Eve.

As Christians we believe that God has so loved the world, the whole world, so much, so deeply, so thoroughly as to come into it Himself, incarnate the Christ child. Any kind of violence, any kind of threat, from wherever it comes, any kind of denial of the right of all people to life, dignity and respect is a violation of God’s will for wholeness and healing.

As Christians we are called to stand together and to speak together against any kind of suffering, injustice and persecution. We are called to be a people of light, a light that the darkness cannot overcome.
Let the light of the Prince of Peace that we hold together so shine to the Glory of God throughout the world.

Yours in the Name of the Incarnate Christ,
The Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton
General Secretary
The Canadian Council of Churches

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