Photo: Gregorio Borgia, AP
VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis has condemned the attack on pilgrims in Egypt and said they were "killed because they are Christians".
Francis invited the faithful to St. Peter's Square on Sunday to pray with him for the seven dead when they set out for a remote Orthodox Coptic monastery.
Christians make up about ten percent of the Egyptian population and have long complained of discrimination.
Francis said "mourning over the terrorist attack that hit the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt two days ago."
He said he prayed for the "pilgrims who were killed because of the only fact that they were Christians," and asked to comfort this sadness.
In 2017, 29 people were killed in an attack on the same monastery.
On Sunday, Egypt announced that security forces have killed 19 fighters in a shootout, including armed gunmen on Friday.