Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Thank you for your words of condolences and encouragement after the bombings in Alexandria, Egypt on 1 January 2011. I cannot tell you how much these have meat to me and to the church in Egypt. I conveyed your condolences and assurances of support to Pope Shenouda III, the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. It was so painful to watch the twenty-one coffins of the Christians who died in the bombing in Alexandria. With every coffin carried down the aisles of the church the people were shouting, "we are ready to die for the sake of the cross." Of course, they meant "we are ready to carry the cross and die for the sake of Jesus." When each coffin was placed in front of the sanctuary, the people clapped as if clapping for a hero…a martyr.
Shouting, weeping, clapping and crying were all mixed with the chanting of the priests and deacons. Bible readings reminded all the Christians of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. All this reminded me how the Church in Alexandria was founded on the blood of the martyrs. Indeed, Alexandria was once baptized in the blood of the martyrs. Today the church continues to be ready to shed its blood for the sake of Christ.
I pray that those who watched this moving funeral and all those who are affected by this tragedy would be encouraged to stand firm in the faith we received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles, like their ancestors.
In a time like this, we have nothing to hold on to except the promise of Jesus "I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevail." It is also a time to pray for the terrorists.
Please find attached the December 2010 edition of the Diocese of Egypt newsletter.
Thank you for your prayers,
Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican
Provinceof Jerusalem and the Middle East