5 June 2011
The council of Christian churches in Libya has issued a statement signed by six churches of various denominations, condemning the bombing by NATO forces of areas close to places of worship.
The statement declared: “We, the convention of churches gathered in Tripoli, cherish the Libyan homeland and care for its unity, stability, and the safety of all its citizens. We denounce the repetitive NATO bombing of areas adjacent to places of worship during the period from 30 May to 2 June. The bombing has resulted in several damages, and has worked to terrorise the congregation, especially women and aged persons.
“We thank God for his bountiful care and protection, and call upon the authorities concerned to refrain from any action that may jeopardise the safety of this coutry and its children. We continue to pray in our churches that the good Lord may grant this country peace, stability and unity.”
The statement was signed by the Coptic Orthodox Anba Pachomeus, Archbishop of Beheira, Matrouh and North Africa; the Catholic Bishop Giovanni Martinelli; the Greek Orthodox Bishop Theophylactus; the Reverend Hamdy Daoud of the Anglican Church; Rev Edward Blazu of the Union Church; and Fr Zaki of the Evangelical Church.
Anba Pachomeus told Watani that all the Copts in Libya were safe and sound. He said the Coptic church in Misrata had been hit by NATO missiles during a raid against nearby camps of Colonel Qaddafi’s forces. The glass façade was shattered, the doors blown out, and a wall collapsed. The keeper narrowly escaped death when a shot went through the window of his room.
Prayers and services, however, are still held regularly there, he said.
The archival photo is f Anba Pachomeus.