The following letter, signed April 11 by leaders of the Washington area faith community and the Interfaith Conference of Washington, was sent to the Washington area Coptic Churches and priests:

April 11, 2017

In light of the tragedy that occurred on Palm Sunday in Egypt, we write to express our deepest sympathy for all those whose lives were lost or forever changed due to the Palm Sunday attacks in Egypt. And we lament that the Egyptian Coptic churches were the target of such violence. An attack on one community of faith is an attack on all, and we offer our prayers for God’s mercy and justice. 

Please accept this statement, which we also make publicly, as an expression of our solidarity with the Coptic Community. 

Statement in Support of the Persecuted Coptic Christians in Egypt

The disturbing news of another attack on Christians, this time Coptic worshippers in Egypt, calls us together so that we might, through the faith traditions represented in this statement, denounce violence but particularly violence perpetrated in the name of religion. 

In this week, called holy by Christians around the world, we join in solidarity in decrying this violent attack.

In the Christian Scriptures there is the image of Simon of Cyrene, whose faith tradition we do not know, but who stepped forward to help Jesus carrying his cross. In that sense we step forward to stand with our Coptic Christian brothers and sisters and with Christians around the world, so that they do not have to carry their cross alone.

In the Islamic tradition, churches are explicitly named in the Qur'an (22:40) as places where the name of God is extolled and are deserving of protection and anyone who attacked a Christian church would be violating Islamic principles. 

With sentiments of solidarity,

Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Archbishop of Washington                                                      

The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde

Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Mr. Rizwan Jaka

Chair, Board & Interfaith/Government/ 

Media Committee Co-Chair,                                                   

All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)

Rev. Dr. G. Wilson Gunn, Jr.

General Presbyter

National Capital Presbytery

Rabbi Gerry Serotta

Executive Director

Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington                

Imam Mohamed Magid, Executive 

Religious Director, 

All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS)