Living here in Egypt as a writer, I have long worried over the looming death of Pope Shenouda, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Speaking only personally, it seemed a daunting task to try and summarize his life, as long, influential, and controversial it has been.
This mostly has to do with my preference for writing analysis and context, as opposed to news. Yet the death of a major figure demands quick production. Doing justice to the man and the future of the church of Egypt seemed incredibly complex a task. There is so much about the Coptic Orthodox Church which still escapes me.
Arab West Report has produced a fine obituary on Pope Shenouda, one submitted the day of his death with substantial analysis and contextual content. The author and director of our center has lived long in Egypt and is clearly well researched and contemporary to the events described. I hope to attain such proficiency some day.
Please click here for the link.
Another good report comes from the Guardian, a UK based newspaper. I provide this link not only for its content, but also because it links to a report I wrote several months ago after the Maspero massacre. I was the only foreigner present during a press conference hosted by the Maspero Youth Union, and after all this time it was picked up by the major media.
I hope a more extensive analysis of this situation can come in a few days. I spent today surveying Egyptian Protestant leaders for their reaction, and hope to make this report available tomorrow.
For now, let us pray for Egypt’s Copts, as they are mourning. Analysis can come later. Below are a few pieces I have written about him in the past.
- Church, State, and Revolution in Egypt – January 21, 2012
- Weekly Meeting with the Pope – December 27, 2010
- Mubarak, Shenouda, and Jesus: Remarriage on Whose Authority? – June 10, 2010
- A Departing Third Opens a Period of Uncertainty – March 11, 2010 (on the passing of Sheikh al-Azhar Tantawi, in reference to the elderly Mubarak and Shenouda)