SCOOCH Fathers Attend Special Memorial Service in Honor of the Martyrs of St. Peter’s Church

Staten Island, NY- Last Thursday – December 15, 2016 – H.G. Bishop David of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of New York & New England hosted a special memorial service in honor of the victims of the vile and barbaric terrorist attack visited upon the innocent faithful of St. Peter’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo the previous Sunday. The Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches condemns the attacks in the strongest possible terms, along with His Excellency Ahmed Farouk, Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in New York, who, at the ceremony, called the terrorists who planned and carried out this vicious attack, “The ambassadors of Satan”.

His Grace Bishop David reiterated a sentiment expressed at the memorial for the Coptic Orthodox Martyrs of Libya last February, that the Orthodox Christians of the Middle East do not fear persecution, but nevertheless call upon the United Nations and the powerful states of the world to put a stop to the annihilation of Christendom in places like Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria for the common good. “An evil like this threatens the entire civilized world,” His Grace declared, “We do not fear death. As Christians, we do not fear death, because Our Lord told us not to fear those who kill the body and have nothing to do after that. So why are we calling for justice? We do not call upon our leaders to act because we fear persecution. Indeed, Our Lord Jesus instructed us that we would be persecuted for His sake. And we do not seek to avoid the great blessing of martyrdom. However, as Christians, we must stand up for peace and for the fundamental principle that any religion must start from a premise of the sanctity of every life, freedom of choice, and human dignity. There can be no justification for the taking of innocent life.”

On hand to offer their condolences and to stand in solidarity with the Coptic Orthodox Church were:

H.E. Archbishop Abune Zekarias of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church Archdiocese of New York, the Northeast, the Southeast, and Central United States
H.E. Mor Dionysios Jean Kawak Patriarchal Exarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church of the Eastern United States
H.E. Mor Silvanos Ayub of the Knanaya-Syriac Archdiocese of North America and Europe
H.E. Archbishop Ioann of the Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the United States
H.G. Bishop John O’Hara of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York (Representing H.E. Timothy Cardinal Dolan)
H.G. Bishop James Massa of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn
V. Rev. Fr. Simeon Odbabashian of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church in the United States (Representing H.E. Archbishop Khajag)
V. Rev. Fr. John Jillions of the Orthodox Church in America (Representing H.B. Metropolitan Tikhon)
H.E. Ahmed Farouk, Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt in New York
Sgt. Mourad Mourad of the New York Police Department’s Middle Eastern Intelligence Unit

A broadcast of the service in its entirety can be accessed here:

If you would like to help the families of this tragedy, kindly visit the following link: