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Coptic Church attacked in Libya's Benghazi: ministry

Libyan officials condemn an attack on a Coptic Church that threatened two priests.

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Libyan officials have condemned a Thursday attack on a Coptic Christian church in Benghazi. Here, Copts attend a service in the Church of St. Barbera in Cairo, Egypt. (Peter Macdlarmid/AFP/Getty Images)

Libya's foreign ministry on Sunday expressed concern over an attack on a Coptic Christian church in the eastern city of Benghazi late last week, according to Reuters, citing the country's LANA news agency. 

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation's Sunday statement "strongly condemned Thursday's attack on the Egyptian church ... and the aggression towards Father Paul Isaac and his assistant by the irresponsible armed men," Reuters said, quoting LANA coverage.

It went on to state that such violence is “contrary to the teachings of our Islamic faith and customs and as well as international covenants on human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the monotheistic religions," according to the Libyan Herald

The government has established a committee to look into the incident, reported Reuters

The Thursday attack reportedly came at a delicate diplomatic moment for Libya. Last week, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohammed Amr Kamel, personally intervened after Copts were arrested on charges of proselytizing for the Christian faith, reported the Libyan Herald.

Reuters said four people were detained in Benghazi on similar charges last month.

The treatment of Libya's small Christian community has come under question following the ousting of longtime leader Muammar Qaddafi two years ago. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/130303/coptic-church-attacked-libyas-benghazi-ministry