Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church’s condolences upon the terror action in a mosque near the Egyptian city of El-Arish
On November 24, 2017, a terror attack was carried out during the Friday worship at the Sufi mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed in North Sinai in Egypt. The terrorists, who drove to the mosque in cars, detonated an explosive device within the building and then shot down people running out into the street at the threshold of the mosque and after ambulances came began shooting at medics. As of the Friday night, 235 people were killed and 130 wounded with many children among them. The number of the victims may grow since some wounded people are in critical state. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has sent the following letter of condolences to the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt:
To His Excellency Abdul-Fattah Saeed Hussein AS-SISI
Arab Republic of Egypt
Much-Esteemed Mr. President,
Kindly accept my condolences upon the tragedy that has happened in a mosque near the town of El-Arish and that has taken a great many human lives.
The killing of believers at a time of prayer is a testimony to the fact that extremists who claim to be Muslims have no connection whatsoever to the faith in the Most High. This fact exposes the myth imposed by terrorists that they defend Islam and struggle for its purity. They use the most insidious and cruel means to intimidate people, to force them to fulfil their vicious will to destroy the principles good-neighborliness and tolerance so important for building a dignified and happy life in today’s society.
In these circumstances, the solidarity and unity of the faithful of traditional religions which uphold the ideals of good and justice in today’s society are important as never before.
I hope that those who have organized this murderous deed will not evade responsibility.
In these sorrowful days I wish to the injured speedy recovery and to the families and loved ones of the victims – the courage to overcome their grief and to those who are working today to overcome the consequences of what has happened – cohesion and determination in the struggle with extremism.
With sincere compassion,
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia