20:10 GMT +3 hours23 November 2014
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Pope Benedict XVI urges Middle East leaders to ensure safety for Christians

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(updated 18:27 28.10.2014)
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Pope Benedict XVI has urged the leaders of the Middle East and Muslim states to ensure the safety for Christians following the recent church bombing in Egypt's Alexandria, which left 23 people dead and dozens injured.

Pope Benedict XVI has urged the leaders of the Middle East and Muslim states to ensure the safety for Christians following the recent church bombing in Egypt's Alexandria, which left 23 people dead and dozens injured.

According to recent reports, 23 people were killed in a blast that occurred near a crowded Coptic Christian church in Alexandria early on Saturday. The explosion, which also injured at least 97 people, took place as worshippers were leaving the church after a holiday Mass.

"The attacks that had dealt death, destruction and despair among Iraq's Christians, make them leave the places where their ancestry had lived for centuries," the Pope said on Monday during the audience with the diplomats to the Holy See.

The Pope also said the governments of the Middle East states should ensure the safety for the religious minorities, despite "the hazards and perils."

ROME, January 10 (RIA Novosti)