ROME — Pope Benedict XVI said an apparent suicide bombing outside a Mass in Egypt that left 21 worshipers dead "offends God and all of humanity."
The pope offered condolences and expressed his grief for the victims and their families during his traditional Sunday Angelus prayer.
He compared the attack to bombs placed near churches in Iraq, saying both are meant to intimidate Christians and prevent them from attending services. Benedict has repeatedly denounced the violent campaign against Christians in Iraq blamed on al-Qaida militants.
He also remembered the "numerous" pastoral workers killed in 2010.
The pope urged Christians Saturday in his New Year's appeal to remain strong in the face of intolerance and violence.