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Coptic Christian bishop: I forgive ISIS


DANIEL BURKE

Source:
CNN
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
2/20/2015

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ABSTRACTCoptic Christian Bishop: I forgive ISIS - CNN.com Breaking News U.S. Edition U.S. International Arabic Español Set edition preference Confirm Sign in MyCNN Watch Live TV News U.S. World Politics Tech Health Entertainment Living Travel Money Sports Watch Live TV Video CNNgo Latest News Must Watch Videos Digital Studios Watch Live TV TV CNNgo Schedule CNN Films Shows A-Z Faces of CNN Worldwide Watch Live TV Opinions Political Op-Eds Social Commentary iReport Watch Live TV More… Photos Longform Investigations CNN profiles A-Z CNN Leadership Somebody's Gotta Do It The Wonder List City of Tomorrow High Profits The Guns Project Digital Shorts Change the List CNN Heroes Impact Your World Watch Live TV Quick Links Photos Longform Investigations CNN profiles A-Z CNN Leadership Coptic Christian bishop: I forgive ISIS By Daniel Burke , CNN Religion Editor Updated 3:54 PM ET, Fri February 20, 2015 Just Watched Egyptian village mourns lost sons replay More Videos ... Egyptian village mourns lost sons 02:55 Story highlights Christians across the world express horror and outrage at the mass murder of 21 Christians Bishop Angaelos, a Coptic Christian bishop, says he has already forgiven ISIS (CNN) Even by ISIS' brutal standards, the video is horrific. Twenty-one Coptic Christians beheaded on a beach in Libya. Christians across the world expressed horror and outrage at the mass killing, with Pope Francis calling the victims "martyrs" whose violent deaths should unite the fractured Christian community. Bishop Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK. Remarkably, though, a leading Coptic Christian bishop says that he has already forgiven the ISIS soldiers who slaughtered his fellow Copts. Bishop Angaelos, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, was in Washington on Friday for the swearing-in of the United States' new ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, David Saperstein. Angaelos spoke to CNN about why ISIS targets Coptic Christians, and why he forgives them, even as he rejects their horrific acts. Q: What was the first thing that came to your mind when you heard about ISIS killing the Coptic Christians? A: I suppose I had a sense of the inevitable happening. We knew that it was going to happen by the way ISIS was sending out information about the captives, parading them on video. It was all very orchestrated. It was shocking to see how that could happen today in the 21st century. But we also saw strength and bravery in those men, and the number of messages and calls we've received in solidarity, the condolences and support has been overwhelming. This crime is not just a crime against Coptic Christians. It is a crime against humanity, and if there's anything we should stand for as human beings, first and foremost it's the sanctity of all human life. Q: Not long after the video released, you tweeted about the killings, using the hashtag #FatherForgive. Did you mean that you forgive ISIS? A: Yes. It may seem unbelievable to some of your readers, but as a Christian and a Christian minister I have a responsibility to myself and to others to guide them down this path of forgiveness. We don't forgive the act because the act is heinous. But we do forgive the killers from the depths of our hearts. Otherwise,.......