Anglicans express solidarity with Copts.
Anglican Church of Canada leaders have expressed their solidarity and offered prayers to the Coptic Church following the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) in Libya.
"Like so many others in the world, I have viewed with horror and deep grief the images of the brutal execution of 21 young Coptic Christian men... Their senseless killing is another painful reminder of the persecution faithful Coptics continue to suffer," said the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, in a letter sent to Bishop Mina of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Mississauga, Vancouver and Western Canada.
Hiltz said members of the church "share in the suffering of our Coptic brothers and sisters." He assured the bishop of the church's prayers for the victims and their families.
On Feb. 15, ISIS released a gory video purporting to show the beheadings of kidnapped Coptic Christians who had worked as labourers in Libya.
As a symbol of the church's solidarity, Archbishop Colin Johnson, bishop of the diocese of Toronto and metropolitan (senior bishop) of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario, attended a memorial service and candlelight vigil on Feb. 22, at the Canadian Coptic Centre in Mississauga, Ont.
The bishop of the diocese of Ontario, Michael Oulton, meanwhile, sent a letter to Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark and leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, assuring him of his and his diocese's prayers for the Coptic Church.
The killings, said Oulton, underscore the need for Christians "to stand in solidarity with one another in opposition to those who brutalize in the name of religion." Oulton personally met Pope Tawadros II during the latter's visit to Kingston, Ont., where he delivered the Mathers Lecture at Queen's University in September 2014.