Several important events of the last week involve Orthodox Christians around the world including the protest by Palestinian Christians against the alleged corruption of the Patriarch of Jerusalem (see: Palestinian Christians jeer Greek Orthodox leader; also see: Patriarch could become persona non grata in Bethlehem) and the Muslim persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt (see: 8 Coptic Christians in Egypt Shot Dead As They Left Christmas Mass). Notable is the silence of the Ecumenical Patriarch concerning these events. Not so with Rome. From the Assyrian News Agency:
Pope Condemns Religious Attacks After Copt Deaths
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — Pope Benedict called on political and religious authorities on Sunday to prevent violence against Christians, in an apparent reference to recent attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt.
“Violence against Christians … has caused indignation among many people, particularly because it has taken place on the most sacred days of the Christian tradition,” Benedict said after his weekly Angelus blessing in Rome.
Six Coptic Christians were killed in drive-by shootings in the town of Nagaa Hamady in southern Egypt on January 6, just before midnight on Coptic Christmas Eve.
Three days later Muslims and Christians set fire to each others’ homes and shops in nearby villages, injuring six people, as tension remained high in the area, 60 km (40 miles) north of the tourist and archaeological center Luxor.
“It is necessary that both political and religious authorities do not fail to live up to their responsibilities,” the pope said. “We cannot have violence in the name of God.”