NEW YORK — In the wake of a horrific fire that swept through a crowded Coptic Church in Egypt on August 14, Diocesan Primate Fr. Mesrop Parsamyan extended the condolences of the Eastern Diocese to Bishop David, leader of America’s Coptic Orthodox community.
“Today, my heart wept as I read of the disastrous fire that destroyed the Abu Sefein Church in Giza, at the cost of more than forty precious lives, scores of injuries, and incalculable grief among our beautiful, faithful brothers and sisters of the Coptic Church,” wrote the Primate in his August 15 letter.
The latest reports calculate that 41 people died in the blaze, among them, most tragically, 18 children. The Coptic sanctuary was crowded with worshippers when the fire broke out.
Coptic Christians share ancient ties of culture, theology, and friendship with their Armenian brethren. Both communities belong to the Oriental Orthodox family of the churches, and maintain close relations internationally and in the United States.
As Fr. Mesrop wrote to Bishop David: “Let me take this moment of crisis to express again the deep sense of care, support, solidarity, and love that the Armenian faithful feel towards our brethren of the Coptic Church.” He added that both communities stand together in prayer for the lives lost at Abu Sefein Church, and for the Armenians who died in an explosion at a Yerevan marketplace on the same day.
Read Fr. Mesrop’s letter below.