(AA) – Pope Francis, the spiritual leader of the world’s estimated one billion Catholics, said on Monday that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant killed 21 Egyptians just because they were Christians.
Pope Francis expressed his regret over the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIL militants when received Scotland Church representatives.
“They were killed just because they were Christian,” the religious leader said.
Twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians, who were kidnapped on Feb. 12, were beheaded by ISIL in a video clip released on Sunday.
As a response to ISIL’s executions, Pope Francis regarded the killed 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians as “Christian martyrs.”