Before concluding his weekly General Audience address, Pope Francis led the pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in prayer for the 21 Egyptian Copts killed by the Islamic State several days ago.
“I would like to invite you once again to pray for Egyptian brothers who were killed in Libya three days for the sole reason of being Christian,” the Pope said.
“May the Lord receive them in His House and give comfort to their families and their communities.”
The Holy Father also prayed for peace on the Middle East and North Africans, especially those who have died, the wounded and those fleeing the violence. The Italian government has called on the international community to assist with the growing threat the Islamic State poses to its national community.
In the video of the beheadings of the Egyptian Christians, extremists threatened to “conquer Rome.” Following terrorists attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, 500 anti-terrorist police forces have been deployed in major tourist areas in Rome.
Concluding his appeal, Pope Francis called on the international community “to find a peaceful solution to the difficult situation in Libya.”