[Statement] Dr. Joseph D’Souza Calls World Leaders To Stand United Against Religious Extremism

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombing near Egypt’s St. Mark’s Orthodox Coptic Cathedral that killed 25 Coptic Christians and the attack in Berlin that killed 12 and left several more in critical condition.

HYDERABAD, INDIA — International humanitarian Rev. Dr. Joseph D’Souza issues the following statement in response to the bombing near Egypt’s St. Mark’s Orthodox Coptic Cathedral at the hands of the Islamic State and the latest terrorist attack in Berlin:

“The rise of radical Islamic terrorism in Middle Eastern and Asian nations – like Egypt and Pakistan – has resulted in the continued decimation of ancient Christian communities and churches. In the Middle East especially, the Christian Orthodox and Coptic population is being reduced at an alarming rate. What was once the very birthplace of Christianity is now becoming a desolate land.

“The recent bombing of Cairo’s most important Coptic church is just one of countless recent incidents in a focused agenda to drive out and exterminate Christians. This week’s attack in Berlin is sad proof that religious extremism, uncontained and unaddressed, spills over borders and threatens the lives of ordinary citizens.

“Extremism, in the name of any religion, must always be publicly condemned and the perpetrators must be brought to full justice. As it stands today, Christian churches have become the primary target of religious extremism in the world.

“Free democracies must take every possible action against these attacks. Instead they have chosen indifference.

“All one must do is ask, ‘how many persecuted Christians from the Middle East have received refugee status in Western nations compared to refugees from other faiths?’ There is no question Christians, perhaps more than any other group, face increasing persecution on a daily basis.

“The prayers of the Indian Christian community are with the victims of the Cairo bombing and the Berlin attack. May the world soon see the day when we feel safe again from religious extremism.”

Photos of Dr. D’Souza are available here.

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Most Rev. Dr. Joseph D’Souza is the Moderating Bishop of the Good Shepherd Church and Associated Ministries of India. He also serves as the President of the All India Christian Council.  He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his work as a human rights activist. He is also the founder and International President of the Dalit Freedom Network. He can be reached at: moderator@gsoim.org. Additional biographical information is available here.