African Press International (API)

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Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Norway condemns attacks on religious institutions in Egypt

Posted by African Press International on August 24, 2013

“I am shocked by the widespread burning of churches that has taken place in Egypt over the past week. Norway condemns these acts of violence. All political groups in Egypt must now distance themselves clearly and unequivocally from the burning of churches and attacks on Christian property,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

Yesterday, Christians and Muslims in Egypt made a joint appeal to the Egyptian authorities to strengthen security measures to protect churches and other religious institutions. The appeal was issued through the organisation The Egyptian Family Home, which was set up by the Coptic Church and Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt’s leading Islamic institution.

“Norway fully supports this joint appeal. I completely understand that many Christians in Egypt now feel threatened. The Egyptian authorities have responsibility for ensuring the security of the country’s religious institutions,” Mr Eide said.

“The right to practise one’s religion is a fundamental human right. I expect the Egyptian authorities to take the necessary steps to ensure the security of places of worship and other religious property,” Mr Eide said.

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Norway demands release of two kidnapped Syrian bishops

Posted by African Press International on April 29, 2013

“I am concerned about reports that the two top church leaders in Aleppo, Bishops Ibrahim and Yazaji, have been kidnapped. We have contacted the leader of the Free Syrian Army, and asked them to do all they can to find those responsible and ensure that the two bishops are released,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

The Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Aleppo, Boulos Yazaji, have been kidnapped by an unknown armed group in Syria. They were abducted on their way from the Turkish border to the city of Aleppo.

“The two bishops are key leaders for Christians in Syria. The fact that church leaders are now being kidnapped shows just how relentless the civil war in Syria has become,” said Mr Eide.

The Norwegian authorities have contacted the head of the Free Syrian Army, General Salim Idris, and asked them to do all they can to find those responsible and ensure that the church leaders are released. There are a large number of armed groups in Syria that support different parties to the conflict. The Free Syrian Army is a network that includes most of the military opposition forces and cooperates with the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.

“Christians in Syria are in a vulnerable position, and it is important for Syria’s future to avoid divisions between religious groups. I urge those responsible for this action to release the bishops immediately, and I also urge all those involved in the war to dissociate themselves from actions that target religious leaders,” said Mr Eide.

 

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