Coptic Christians in Egypt will respond with forgiveness instead of vengeance to the suicide bomber and others responsible for the Cairo church bombing which killed 24 worshippers and injured 49 others over the weekend.
In a phone interview with The Christian Post on Wednesday, Coptic Bishop Anba Angaelos said attacks such as the recent Cairo church bombing spark anger among the people in Egypt but there is no call for revenge. Although the Islamic State has already claimed responsibility for the suicide attack, they are just waiting for the results of the formal investigation.
“We are praying that there is healing in the community. We are ready to and we already have forgiven people for doing this because at the end of the day, a lack of forgiveness harms us more than anyone else,” Bishop Angaelos told the Post.
“I think that is something that we need to be mindful of as Christians, and I am very proud to say that this is something we have seen Copts doing very naturally and organically for decades,” Bishop Angaelos added.
In a statement posted online, ISIS said the person responsible for the Cairo church bombing was one of its members. The jihadist group also vowed to continue fighting against those it labels as “apostates,” The Guardian reports.
On Monday, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi revealed the bomber’s identity as 22-year-old Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa. However, the name ISIS gave was Abu Abdullah al-Masri.
The latest Cairo church bombing is one of the deadliest attacks targeting Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority in recent years. While government supporters applauded the quick identification of Mustafa as the suicide bomber, there are those who say authorities could have done more to prevent the church blast.
Some have blamed the Egyptian government for allegedly failing to protect Christians and other members of the religious minority in the country. The Coptic bishop said the problem lies not in extremist groups but on the “fertile grounds into which they can plant seeds.” In line with this thinking, Bishop Angaelos urged the local community to move towards healing.