Multiple Faith Leaders Stand With Coptic Christian Community On Good Friday After Egypt Attack

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)This Good Friday is an especially somber time for Coptic Christians, after terrorists attacked two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday.

As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, members of two different faiths came together in New York City Friday to stand as one with the Coptic community.

The embrace took place outside Our Lady of Peace Church behind a visible screen of security. Cardinal Timothy Dolan – the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York – embraced His Grace Bishop David, the Egyptian Coptic archbishop of New York and New England.

The cardinal, had four other religious leaders in tow and a message to deliver.

“When there is a loss in the family, we ought to be together,” Dolan said.

The Good Friday visit came five days after a pair of bomb attacks on the Egyptian Coptics in their home country.

“We stand in solidarity against this evil,” Bishop David said.

The attack in Egypt killed 45 people, and Easter services have been curtailed in Alexandria and Cairo. But this is New York, and the cardinal says nothing will be canceled here.

“We all come from religious traditions that once were newly arrived, and this city and this country welcomed us with love and embrace, and we worked together and we worked to love,” Dolan said.

Inside the church, the visitors were warmly welcomed. Also present were the Greek and Armenian Orthodox bishops, the Protestant pastor of a Brooklyn megachurch, and the chief rabbi of New York.

“Good Friday wasn’t always this way,” said Chief Rabbi Joseph Potasnik.

He is right about that — at one time, anti-Semitic attitudes would have made Jews coming to a Christian church apprehensive.

“Apprehensive to go out on Good Friday,” Potasnik said. “Many would just stay home; close their doors. But that’s not where we are today.”

On this Good Friday, the rabbi stood with the Christians, resisting the pall of fear and the lure of hatred.

“What’s happening now is terrible as it happened also to the Jewish people, to the Armenian People, to the Greek people,” said Archbishop Khajag Barsamian of the Armenian Apostolic Church. “And as rabbi said, ‘Never again.’”

Like Good Friday itself, it is a dark time that is a prelude to hope.

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