Pope Shenouda: Those killed in ‘fights’ are not necessarily martyrs

People who get killed in fights are not necessarily martyrs, the head of Egypt's Coptic Church, Pope Shenouda III, has stated.

Shenouda did not clarify what he meant by "fights."

On Tuesday night, clashes broke out between police forces and protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square, leaving hundreds injured.

In a Wednesday statement, the Ministry of Interior said it had "dealth with" protesters who tried to storm its headquarters in downtown Cairo, describing their attempts as "illegal."

In press statements in May, Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy said that those who attacked police departments during the 25 January revolution, which toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, were "thugs" and not martyrs.

"A martyr is he who dies to please God, not he who simply gets killed in a fight," the Pope said in his weekly sermon.

He said weapons should not be used "even in self-defense."

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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