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20th October 2017 - Islwyn MP calls on government to do more to protect Coptic Christians in Egypt

Islwyn MP calls on government to do more to protect Coptic Christians in EgyptChris Evans, MP for Islwyn, has asked the government what assurance it can give to Coptic Christians in Egypt that they are doing everything they can to protect them.

The town of Risca, in Mr Evans’ constituency, is home to Wales’ first Coptic Orthodox Christian Church and has a congregation from across South Wales. Coptic Christians are a frequent target of terrorism in Egypt.

Mr Evans said: ‘Members of the Coptic Church come from all over south Wales to Risca, to worship at St Mary’s and St Abu Saifain. The congregation have looked on in horror at the terrorist attacks on fellow Coptics in Egypt. Just this weekend, an archbishop was assassinated outside Cairo by an Islamic extremist group.

‘What assurance can the Minister give the congregation at St Mary’s and St Abu Saifain that the Government are doing everything they can to protect brethren who are simply following their religion?’

Responding to Mr Evans’ question, Alistair Burt MP, the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said: ‘I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising that matter of real seriousness in Egypt. I met leaders of the Coptic Church just last week with the support of His Grace Bishop Angaelos, and I am going to the Coptic service later today to express further solidarity. 

‘We raise these matters directly with the Egyptian Government, who view these terrorist attacks with the same degree of horror as we do, and who are doing all in their power to stop them. We will continue to urge just that.’

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