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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt wants the State Department to respond to recent attacks on Christians in Egypt.

The Missouri Republican joined Tennessee's GOP senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, in a letter to the State Department.

They want the U.S. to urge Egypt's government to take steps to protect Coptic Christian churches, communities and individuals.The senators say recent attacks on minority Christians have endangered their ability to worship.

Blunt also has sponsored legislation allowing the appointment of a special envoy to promote religious freedom in a region described as the "Near East and South Central Asia."

The bill would allot $1 million annually to the new envoy for staff, investigations and travel.

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