Canberra's Coptic community hopes the Coptic Orthodox pope's visit to the region will shine a light on the plight of Copts across the Middle East.
Pope Tawadros II visited Canberra for the first time yesterday meeting Kaleen's St Mark Coptic Orthodox congregation after earlier meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Father Michael Zamer said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the patriarch of the church.
"We are all very excited, we don't know if we'll ever get this opportunity again," he said.
Canberra woman and member of the congregation Marianne Ibrahim said she hoped the pope's visit would make Australians more aware of the increased dangers Egypt's Coptic Christians faced.
She called on the government to be more vocal in its condemnation of attacks on Copts, saying many people didn't realise who the Coptic people were or why they were in danger.
As recently as May, 28 Copts were killed in Egypt when masked gunmen opened fire on a bus and dozens were killed on Palm Sunday in April.
Ms Ibrahim said every attack affected members of the local community, who often knew the victims or had a connection to them.
"Our community is hurting a lot," she said. "It's really important for the government to be a lot more outspoken about it.
"Every time something happens it affects the community here."