On the Killing of 7 Coptic Christians in Egypt
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, issued the following statement on the attack that killed seven Coptic Christian pilgrims in Egypt on Friday:
"Our prayers go out for the seven Coptic Christians—men, women and children—killed in the horrific bombing of their bus as they were on their way as pilgrims to the St. Samuel the Confessor monastery in Egypt.
"This bombing, 17 months after another bus of Coptic pilgrims was brutally attacked on its way to the same monastery, is one more direct attack on innocent Coptic Christians who face persecution and marginaliztion at the hands of their neighbors on a daily basis, and are subject to regular terror attacks by ISIS, who has made clear its goal of driving Christians out of the region. This violence must stop.
"The U.S. has a critical role to play in ensuring that Christians and other religious minorities, in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East, are protected from all violence, enjoy equal rights with fellow citizens, and are able to remain in their homes and thrive without having to resort to leaving their homelands for good. We must advocate on the international level for the rights of all persecuted religious minorities, and push for investigations into all senseless acts of violence and to hold the perpetrators accountable."