Pope Francis visits Egypt church bombed by Islamic State
Two Egyptian churches were bombed by Islamic State as worshippers had gathered to mark Palm Sunday on April 9, killing at least 44 people in the deadliest attacks on the Coptic Christian minority in recent memory.Updated: Apr 29, 2017 01:37 IST
Pope Francis on Friday attended a service in an Egyptian church bombed by the Islamic State jihadist group in December, on a trip to Cairo to promote tolerance.
Francis joined a procession from the nearby headquarters of Coptic Pope Tawadros II to the Saint Peter and Saint Paul church, where a suicide bomber killed 29 people in the December 11 attack.
Francis was led by church members bearing standards with the portrait of Jesus Christ.
Inside the church, Francis sat alongside Tawadros and priests, holding books as a chorus sang hymns to clashing cymbals.
The December 11 attack was followed by twin church bombings in Egypt in April, also claimed by IS, that killed 45 people.
Francis, who on Friday started a two-day visit, has said he hoped his trip would contribute to dialogue with Muslims and show support for Egypt’s Coptic Christians.
The Copts, about 10 percent of Egypt’s population of more than 90 million, have suffered a series of sectarian attacks in recent years.
First Published: Apr 29, 2017 01:04 IST