U.S. National Council of Churches calls for an end to violence in Egypt

egyptflagWashington, August 23, 2013 – The National Council of Churches has expressed horror at the growing violence in Egypt, especially suffered by the Coptic Christian community, and has called upon all parties to seek “a peaceful way forward.”

In a statement released today, the NCC expressed urgent concern for Christian communities in Egypt as well as for “brothers and sisters in Syria, the Palestinian territories, and elsewhere in the region where our hopes for peace after the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’ have been challenged.”

The Council stressed that its prayers for peace and safety are for all residents of the area, regardless of religion.

“The urgency of our concern is prompted by the fervent call for our prayers by fellow Christians,” the Council said, citing Coptic and Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, and other Christian communities.

But the Council also stressed that “we are deeply concerned for all God’s children caught in the cross fire of violence, whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim.

The Council called upon the Egyptian government and all parties to the crisis “to work to put an end to the violence and to guarantee the safety of all innocent Egyptian citizens.” 

“We call on the international community to seek appropriate ways to work urgently and incessantly to promote an end to the violent conflict,” the Council said.  “And while we understand the many demands upon the United States government with respect to its complicated relationship with Egypt, we nevertheless call upon our government to take whatever measures are necessary, including the appropriate scrutiny of aid to the Egyptian government, until this situation is remedied.”

The National Council of Churches statement was drafted by Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC associate general secretary, Faith & Order and Interfaith Relations, and Dr. Peter Makari, executive for Middle East and Europe, Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, and also co-chair of the NCC's Interfaith Relations Commission.

Makari also noted the Egyptian government’s decision “to rebuild all of the churches and church institutions that were destroyed.”

The full text of the statement follows:

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA is deeply concerned with the events unfolding in Egypt since the recent change in government.  Together with its partners worldwide, it has watched with horror the growing violence, and it has prayed for the cessation of this violence and the establishment of a peaceful way forward. 

Our concern is rooted in our religious and historical ties to churches and Christians, as well as other partners and religious communities, in countries throughout the region. The urgency of our concern is prompted by the fervent call for our prayers by fellow Christians.  And while our present thoughts are with our brothers and sisters in the Coptic and Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic and other Christian communities of Egypt, they also remain with our brothers and sisters in Syria, the Palestinian territories, and elsewhere in the region where our hopes for peace after the beginning of the “Arab Spring” have been challenged.  In the midst of violence, we pray for the peace and safety of our Christian sisters and brothers, as well as people of all faiths who suffer in a context of violence. We are deeply concerned for all of God’s children caught in the cross-fire of violence – whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim.

We call upon the Egyptian government and all parties to the current crisis to work to put an end to the violence and to guarantee the safety of all innocent Egyptian citizens.  We call on the international community to seek appropriate ways to work urgently and incessantly to promote an end to the violent conflict. And while we understand the many demands upon the United States government with respect to its complicated relationship with Egypt, we nevertheless call upon our government to take whatever measures are necessary, including the appropriate scrutiny of aid to the Egyptian government, until this situation is remedied.

We pray for the Christians in Egypt, whose lives have been threatened and even cut short, and whose churches and property have been attacked and burned.  Christians believe in the Prince of Peace, and our churches are a testament to our faith in him.  In Egypt, these churches have stood as a testament to this faith since the first century, and in peaceful coexistence with the Muslim and other communities of that country.  We would expect that the new government, which has challenged extremist tendencies of the previous government, to more quickly demonstrate its moderation and tolerance toward their Christian neighbors by reining in those continuing extremist tendencies. 

We pray for the souls of our Muslim brothers and sisters in Egypt who have died trying to foster peace in the midst of chaos, and for the building up of those who continue to do so despite the deteriorating conditions there.

And we extend our hopes and prayers for a return to a legitimate political process that will result in the guarantee of the rights and responsibilities of all of Egypt’s citizens.

For more information contact:
Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC Associate General Secretary, Faith & Order and Interfaith Relations, tony.kireopoulos@nationalcouncilofchurches.us, 917-287-1144

Please click here to read the Community of Christ's statement regarding the continuing violence against Christians in Egypt and the Middle East.


Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.


NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 646-853-4212 (cell), cruzandjenks@gmail.com