Photo Credit: Lambeth Palace
[Lambeth Palace] The Archbishop of Canterbury has visited Egypt to offer condolence following the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya.
Archbishop Justin Welby travelled to the country on Saturday to express condolence and solidarity in meetings with religious and political leaders.
The 21 kidnapped migrant workers, all Coptic Christians, were beheaded by Islamic State militants in February.
During the two-day visit the Archbishop met with the head of the Coptic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar. He also met with the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. On Sunday evening he preached at a joint Egyptian-Sudanese Eucharist service at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo.
The Archbishop was hosted by Bishop Mouneer Anis, Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and the Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.
Speaking to the BBC during the visit, the Archbishop said: ''I believe Islamic State is deeply evil - even to its own supporters.” “Simply to turn our backs on people in such struggle and suffering is totally unacceptable. Equally, to say the simple solution is that ‘you will leave that area and come to our place…’ – we all know that that is, again, an invitation to ethnic cleansing on a grand scale.”
In his Easter sermon the Archbishop highlighted the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa, including the 148 people killed in an attack on a Kenyan university earlier this month.