07 January 2011
UK Christians rally behind believers in Egypt
Prayers offered for massacred Coptic Christians on Sunday January 9, 2011
The Evangelical Alliance is supporting efforts by churches across Britain to unite in prayer in response to fellow Christians killed in the bomb attack at the Church of Saints Mark and Peter in Alexandria, Egypt, on New Year's Eve.
At 12pm GMT on 9 January, 2011, scores of churches from different denominations will join in a peaceful remembrance of the acts of violence against worshippers. The main service in the UK will take place in the Cathedral of Saint George at the Coptic Orthodox Church in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.
Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, said: "We pray for the peace of all, Christians and Muslims alike, and that every Egyptian may enjoy freedom and security to live and practise faith without fear of violence or terror protected by the various arms of the nation state they call home."
Londoner Helen Shirley, who travels to Alexandria twice a year to teach English and attended the church, adds: "It's vital for Egyptian Christians to know that people in Britain are supporting them and are aware of what they're going through."
It's not the first time the Egyptian church has been rocked by violence. In April 2006, a worshipper was stabbed to death in Alexandria during violent attacks on three churches in the area.
Steve Clifford, General Director for the Evangelical, said: "It's time for politicians around the world to collectively agree that enough is enough. The number of people being killed as a result of their faith in Jesus Christ is overwhelming, and this persecution is of enormous concern.
"The reports from Egypt with 22 people killed and 80 injured in a targeted bomb attack are the latest in a string of similar reports over the last few months from Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
"As Christians in the UK we are praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ that they will know the comfort of the one who died for them, Jesus Christ, and His grace to find a place of forgiveness not vengeance."
In response to the massacre and a spate of other attacks on Christians in Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Evangelical Alliance is working with Release, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Open Doors. These are international charities that defend Christians from around the world who are persecuted for their faith.
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Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org.