The Archbishop of Canterbury has welcomed a new Amnesty International report calling on Egypt to prevent ‘deeply disturbing’ attacks on Christians in the country.
The report describes an ‘unprecedented level' of attacks against Coptic Christians following the dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo on 14 August.
More than 200 Christian-owned properties were attacked and 43 churches seriously damaged in 'deeply sectarian attacks' against Coptic and other Christian denominations, the report says.
Speaking to The Times last night, Archbishop Justin said: ‘I welcome this timely report from Amnesty International. Attacks on any community are deplorable and any state has the responsibility to protect its citizens. The appalling attacks in August on the Christian community in Egypt highlight the need for all citizens to be duly protected.'
The report argues that Egyptian authorities failed to prevent mob attacks on Christian churches, schools and charity buildings in August that left at least four people dead and buildings burnt to the ground.
The Archbishop, who has pledged his solidarity with Egypt's Christians, added: ‘Despite the pressure they are under, by the grace of God, Christians in Egypt continue to do all they can to work for the good of the whole of the society of which they are an essential part.’
Last Sunday the Archbishop joined an Anglican-Coptic service of prayer for people caught up in unrest in Egypt, Syria and the wider Middle East.
Speaking before the event in Guildford, he said: 'I am delighted that Anglican and Orthodox Christians will worship together and remember in prayer the very difficult, indeed life-threatening circumstances in which some of the Churches are living.'
Download the Amnesty International report: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE12/058/2013/en