"Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us," he told crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square on Aug. 15. "Let's all say it, Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us."
One Christian leader, speaking anonymously to the evangelical Christian group Open Doors USA, lamented in particular the death of 10-year-old Jessica Boulos, who was murdered last week while returning home from her Bible study at a Cairo evangelical church.
The Christian leader said her death by "a fanatic Muslim gunman" is "unbearable" and "continues to throw its shadows of pain on her broken family and the entire Christian community of Egypt."
"In all of this mess, the loss of church buildings is great, but not to be compared with the loss of the many souls, the pains of the wounds and the fear and anxiety that have filled the hearts of all that can yet happen in Egypt today and the days to come. Buildings can eventually be re-built, but when lost, souls can never be restored."
Nina Shea, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom, wrote in an article for National Review Online that the U.S. has shown an alarming indifference to the plight of Christians in Egypt.
"The Copts are not part of the military assault against Muslim Brotherhood protesters in two of Cairo's squares, and were but one of many factions of Egyptian society that supported the military's ouster of President Mohamed Morsi," Shea observed.
However, she charged, "the Copts have been scapegoated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists since the beginning of the July 3 military intervention."
She criticized the U.S. government for failing to take stronger action against the violent targeting of religious sites, property and houses of worship.
When U.S. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf was questioned about the attacks at a recent press conference, Shea asserted, she simply said that the government is "concerned" and will "continue speaking out against this" in an effort towards "moving forward with a democratic process."
"Beyond the general aim of 'moving forward with a democratic process,' the Obama administration apparently has no policy specifically directed to help this religious minority," Shea said.