Pope denounces Libya IS slayings
Pope Francis has denounced the slaying of Egyptian Copts in Libya by Islamic State (IS), saying they were "assassinated just for being Christian".
Francis spoke off-the-cuff during an audience with a Scottish ecumenical delegation.
He said: "They only said 'Jesus help me ...' The blood of our Christian brothers is testimony that cries out. Be they Catholic, Orthodox, Copts, Lutherans, it doesn't matter. They're Christian."
Militants in Libya affiliated with IS released a video on Sunday purporting to show the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages who had been held for several weeks.
The killings have raised anxieties in Italy, given Libya's proximity just across the Mediterranean Sea and because one of the militants in the video said the group plans to "conquer Rome," the seat of Catholicism.