Voices from Russia

Saturday, 25 November 2017

HH’s Condolences on the Recent Terrorist Attack on a Mosque in Egypt


On 24 November 2017, terrorists attacked a Sufi mosque in Bir al-Abed (North Sinai Governorate) in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt during Friday prayers. The extremists arrived at the mosque in cars, detonated an explosive device inside the building, and then shot people running out onto the street from the mosque. After ambulances appeared on the scene, they began to shoot at the doctors. As of 25 November, at least 300 people are dead and more than 100 injured, including many children. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias sent his condolences to the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and to the Head Mufti of Egypt.

His Excellency Abdul-Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil al-Sisi

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

My Right Honourable President!

Accept my condolences in connection with the tragedy that occurred in the mosque near El Arish that claimed many human lives. This mayhem towards believers during prayers testifies that these extremists (who call themselves “Muslims”) had no real faith in the Most High. This fact exposes as myth the idea that terrorists protect Islam and fight 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 of good-neighbourliness and tolerance, which are important in creating a dignified and prosperous life in our modern society. In such circumstances, as never before, it’s important for believers in traditional religions to show solidarity and cohesion to uphold the ideals of goodness and justice in the modern world. I hope that the perpetrators of this attack won’t escape justice. In these sorrowful days, I wish the wounded a speedy recovery and that the relatives and friends of the dead will bravely overcome the grief that has saddened them. I wish strength and resolution to those who are working today to overcome the consequences of this event and I hope that all of the people of Egypt would show solidarity and determination in the fight against extremism.

With sincere sympathy,


Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

24 November 2017


MP official website      



Sheikh Shauki Ibrahim Abd al-Karim Alam

The Supreme Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt  

Honoured Mufti!

With deep sorrow, I received the news of the terrorist attack on the Sinai Peninsula that killed and injured hundreds of innocent people. Please, accept my sincere condolences. The terrorists committed this terrible crime during Friday prayers in a mosque to try to disrupt peaceful life in your country and to spread panic and fear amongst the people. Clearly, this in itself shows that for extremists there’s nothing sacred, and their beliefs have nothing in common with the values and norms of Islam. My conviction is that such actions won’t achieve their goals and that criminals won’t intimidate peaceful people who want to build the life of their society on the solid foundation of good-neighbourliness and mutual understanding with people confessing other traditional religions. I ask you to convey my words of consolation and support to the relatives and friends of the dead and injured. I wish to you, and to all the people of Egypt, courage and strength in confronting evil and violence.

With condolences,


Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

25 November 2017


MP official website



Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Monks at St Catherine Monastery in the Sinai are Well


Χριστός Ανέστη! Christ is risen!

In response to all the friends who’ve written asking after our brothers, the monks in Sinai, glory to God, they’re all well. Draconian security measures are in force throughout the area, but pilgrims are still able to come and go. There are already many checkpoints on the paved roads leading to the monastery. They’ve been there decades, mainly to check ID’s, watch for narcotics, etc. Now, there’s added security, and the local Bedouin, who are fervent supporters of the monks, are assisting. As the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness doesn’t overcome it, may the joy of this week of peace and brightness remain untouched in the hearts of the faithful!

Αληθώς Ανέστη! He is risen, indeed!

21 April 2017

Friends of Mount Sinai Monastery


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

ISIS Gunmen Attack Police Checkpoint Near Historic St Catherine Monastery in Egypt


One of the world’s most important Christian sites came under attack. The Monastery of St Catherine (formally, the Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mt Sinai), built over 1,500 years ago, is one of Christianity’s holiest sites. Gunmen opened fire on an Egyptian police checkpoint near the monastery, killing one policeman and wounding four others. Then, the gunmen retreated; they didn’t reach the heavily-fortified monastery compound guarded by Egyptian police and security forces. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack via its news agency.

The attack on the monastery comes just over a week after suicide bombers attacked two Coptic Orthodox churches in the Nile Delta city of Tanta and the coastal city of Alexandria, killing 45 people on Palm Sunday. According to officials, the gunmen fired from an elevated hilltop overlooking the police checkpoint just outside the monastery, which is located in a remote mountainous desert area in the South Sinai Governate, where, according to scripture, God spoke to the prophet Moses from a burning bush. The Greek Orthodox monastery was a popular destination, primarily for Orthodox Christian pilgrims, but Egypt closed off public access to it for security reasons in 2015, leaving only the monks and clergy inside the compound.

According to Orthodox Christian history, in the early 4th century, St Eleni, mother of St Konstantinos the Great, built the Chapel of the Burning Bush at the site where Moses is supposed to have seen the miracle. The fortified walls were built around the chapel by the Roman Emperor Justinian (who also commissioned the Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom of God (Agia Sofia/St Sophia)) starting in 527. Justinian’s workers completed the Church of the Transfiguration in the 560s, around the time of his death. In 2002, UNESCO declared the area around St Catherine Monastery a World Heritage Site because of Mt Sinai’s importance to three major world religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), the natural environment of the area, and the historic architecture and art at St Catherine Monastery.

18 April 2017

Pappas Post


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Statement on the Martyrdom of Christians on Hosanna Sunday in Egypt



With palms in their hands, hymns on their lips, and peace in their hearts, New Martyrs were ushered from their churches in Alexandria and Tanta into the Paradise of Joy on Hosanna Sunday, the day and feast of the Lord.

All Christians… know that you are a light in the world, a source of good, and a means for peace. The whole world is under siege by an ideology of hatred… a cancer of the conscience. The same hands that skilfully designed weapons of harm could’ve discovered tools for a cure. This violent act against Christians is because evil can’t coexist with good, darkness can’t overcome light, and hatred can’t befriend peace, but death can’t separate us from God.

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord has spoken it.

Prophecy of Isaias 25.8

All our churches and noble citizens throughout the world are praying for the peace and safety of all persecuted Christians, Confessors, and Martyrs. Holy Week is a time devoted to the Lord’s Passion. At all times, the Lord loved. Even when afflicted and crucified, He loved. This is a time for prayer for the entire world. We remain in prayer for the safety of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, all the Confessors of the Christian faith, the families of the Martyrs, and all the injured victims. On behalf of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States, I offer our deepest condolences to everyone afflicted by this sad day in Egyptian history.

+Bishop Youssef

Ruling Hierarch

Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

10 April 2017

Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States


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