In his word at the funeral service for the nine Copts killed in the terror attack Friday 29 December, Secretary-General of the Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod Anba Raphail said: “There are no more words to be said … The Church’s voice is hoarse with decades of crying against terrorist thought.”
Two masked gunmen on a motorcycle had opened fire at the the church of Mar-Mina in Helwan, south of Cairo, killing a Muslim policeman who stood guard on the church, and nine Copts.
Anba Raphail condemned terrorist thought, and called upon the government to battle it through education and the media.
“It’s not a question of who opens fire or blows himself up to kill others, there are all-too-many brainwashed individuals who would do that once they are told. It’s more basically a question of the thought that extolls such actions.
“The Church has cried itself hoarse explaining that the real target of terror is not Copts as such, but is Egypt in her entirety. Now this has become evident with the falling of valiant policemen, as well as the worshippers at al-Arish mosque a month ago.”
“We do not fear martyrdom,” Anba Raphail said. “We firmly believe that the Copts killed for their faith are now in a better place. But we fear for Egypt. The terrorists are targeting Egypt, so fighting terrorist thought is a matter of national security.
“We shall continue to pray for Egypt as we always do,” he said.
Anba Raphail concluded by praying for those who lost their lives, for their families and loved ones. He also prayed for a speedy recovery for the injured.
Five individuals had been injured in the shooting, two of them critically. Health Minister Ahmad Emad Eddin Radi today said that all the injured are now stable.
The two who had suffered severe injuries underwent surgery. One of them is the young woman Christine Wadie who is in her final year in school and who lost both her parents in the shooting. Wadie suffered from a comminuted fracture and separated shoulder, and required delicate surgery. Dr Radi, himself an orthopaedic surgeon, headed to Nasser Institute Hospital where she had been moved, and operated on her. The surgery was a success.
30 December 2017