NEWARK, NJ – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the targeted killing of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya.
“The targeted killing of Egyptian Copts in Libya by violent extremists is beyond barbaric. The twenty-one innocent men were murdered because of their Christian faith, but this attack was targeted at all people -- Coptic, Egyptian, American, and all who reject extreme ideologies that have no basis in religious doctrine, but rather are rooted in hatred and ignorance.
“New Jersey is home to a vibrant and thriving Coptic community who are mourning their brethren. The Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark in Jersey City is a house of worship, but is now a focal point for grieving. Members of my staff participating in meetings this week in Egypt visited today with Bishop Anba Ermia at the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center in Cairo and conveyed my deepest condolences for this immeasurable loss. During this time of sadness, my thoughts and prayers are with the Coptic community who deserve peace and tranquility, but will endure as they have throughout their noble history.”