You are loved. The violent and deadly crimes you perpetrate are abhorrent and detestable, but you are loved.”
Anba Angaelos is General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and a fierce advocate for the Coptic Christian community. Naturally, he s devastated at the news of another brutal attack on his brothers and sisters in Egypt. But he has a surprising message to the terrorist behind the killing: “You are loved.”
“I have previously addressed victims of terrorist acts; I have addressed their families; I have even addressed those who may have had an opportunity, even in some small way, to advocate for or support those most vulnerable,” he writes at Pravmir.
“This time, however, I feel a need to address those who perpetrate these crimes. You are loved. The violent and deadly crimes you perpetrate are abhorrent and detestable, but you are loved.”
“You are loved by God, your creator, for he created you in his image and according to his likeness, and placed you on this earth for much greater things, according to his plan for all humankind. You are loved by me and millions like me, not because of what you do, but what you are capable of as that wonderful creation of God, who has created us with a shared humanity. You are loved by me and millions like me because I, and we, believe in transformation.”
Transformation is absolutely central to the Christian gospel, Angaelos asserts. “We believe in transformation because, on a daily basis, we are personally transformed from a life of human weakness and sinfulness to a life of power and righteousness,” he continues.
“We believe in transformation because the whole message of the cross and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is to take humanity from the bonds of sin and death to a liberation in goodness and everlasting life.”
The Bishop says it is clear that there is a decreasing value being placed on human life. “Join me in praying for the brokenness of our world that causes parents to lose their children, children to lose their parents and humankind to lose the humanity for which it was created”, he writes.