By Senator Mendendez office –
NEWARK, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after a Coptic Christian Priest was murdered, and a second priest assaulted, in a suburb of Cairo on Thursday:
“My prayers and sympathy go out to the friends and family of Father Samaan Shehta, the Coptic Priest who was brutally killed today. I also extend my deepest condolences to his parishioners and to the wider Coptic community in Egypt, here in New Jersey, and around the world during this challenging time. Finally, I pray for a safe recovery for Father Benjamin Moftah, who was assaulted in the same attack. These Coptic priests were there simply to attend a conference and carry forth their religious duties on behalf of their parishioners.
“There are no excuses for these gruesome assaults on Egypt’s Christian minority. I call on the Egyptian government, in all of its capacities, to uphold its most fundamental duty as a country, which is to protect all Egyptians, including the large Coptic community that has now suffered numerous acts of violence and terrorism in the worst of forms.
“This terrorism against Coptic Christians must be stopped, and the Egyptian government must use every available resource to protect the right of Coptic Christians, and all minorities, to freely practice their religion and to live and work in safety. The United States must insist that the aid we provide Egypt be used in part to enhance security, maintain the rule of law, and meet these evil threats to protect its people.”