Pope Francis denounced the tragic murder of Coptic Christians from Egypt by the Islamic State.
In a video entitled, “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nations of the Cross”, the Islamic extremists butchered 21 Egyptian Christians on the shores near Tripoli, Libya. Following the grisly execution, a militant warned: “We will conquer Rome.”
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father commented on the killings during his meeting with John P. Chalmers, moderator of the Church of Scotland, and several representatives of the Church. Following Chalmers’ address, the Pope departed from his prepared remarks, saying that those executed only said ‘Jesus, help me’.
“They were killed simply for the fact that they were Christians. You, my brother, in your words referred to what is happening in the land of Jesus. The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same.”
Before conculding his address, Pope Francis said that the blood of those killed give witness to Christ and said that their sacrifice encourages steps towards an “ecumenism of blood”.
“The martyrs belong to all Christians,” the Pope said.
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For the full text of the Holy Father’s address, go to: