Tagged with Coptic Orthodox Church

Let My People Build

Let My People Build

This article was published in the November print edition of Christianity Today. Long live the crescent and the cross!” shouted Egypt’s parliament in joy. All 39 Christian members joined the two-thirds majority to vote to end a 160-year practice instituted by the Ottomans requiring Christians to get permission from the country’s leader before building churches. … Continue reading

From Garbage to Glory

From Garbage to Glory

From my new article for Christianity Today’s Behemoth publication: The Pyramids of Giza used to be in the middle of the desert. Eventually Cairo’s urban sprawl pushed right up to the Sphinx. The Citadel of Saladin towers over the city. The southern approach requires an overpass straddling the City of the Dead. In Tahrir Square, … Continue reading

The Pope, in Maadi

The Pope, in Maadi

Friends in Philadelphia will soon have the privilege of a papal visit. But will Pope Francis preach in your particular church? His equal in the faith visited us in Maadi. A Catholic might not consider it so. A Protestant might insist we are all equal. But for Orthodox Christians, Pope Tawadros is patriarch of one … Continue reading

Where the Church Ends and the Citizen Begins

Where the Church Ends and the Citizen Begins

This article was first published at Egypt Source. Accusations against the Coptic Orthodox Church are many. It is in bed with the regime. It desires a political role. It monopolizes the Coptic voice, keeping the faithful within its walls. It is not difficult to find evidence that can fit the accusations. But as the church … Continue reading

The Virgin’s Fast and Intercession

The Virgin’s Fast and Intercession

In the Coptic Orthodox tradition, today begins two weeks of fasting from animal products in honor of the Virgin Mary. During our six years in Egypt we have attended the Orthodox Church regularly, appreciating without fully accepting many of their traditions. But today a small part of the mass, seemingly special for this fasting period, … Continue reading

The Family House at the Ministry of Youth

The Family House at the Ministry of Youth

In a sign of cooperation between the government and Egypt’s religious institutions, the Ministry of Youth and Sports hosted Pope Tawadros of the Coptic Orthodox Church, representing the Egyptian Family House. The Family House is a partnership institution between the Azhar and Egypt’s Christian denominations. It is tasked to promote and preserve national unity, at … Continue reading

The Pope, Preaching Esther

The Pope, Preaching Esther

Five-and-a-half years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Pope Shenouda preach. The now-deceased 87-year-old had presided over the Coptic Orthodox Church for 39 years, along the way establishing a new tradition of holding a weekly meeting with the people every Wednesday. Last week in my first visit since, I witnessed his successor Pope Tawadros … Continue reading

Honor and Humility in the Anglican Communion

Honor and Humility in the Anglican Communion

From Bishop Mouneer in his diocesan newsletter, on the recent visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby: In the Middle East, Africa, and much of the non-Western world, extending honour is among the chief virtues. Our Anglican Communion is blessed to have a leader who embodies not only this cultural value, but also its … Continue reading

Where Tolerance is at Home

Where Tolerance is at Home

A scant eighty feet from St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Port Said, two small bombs exploded last month. Despite the second detonation being delayed until after a crowd had gathered and police were summoned, no one was killed. Even so, it is one more mark of an insurgency aiming to destabilize Egypt. ‘It is … Continue reading

The Educational Initiative of the Family House

The Educational Initiative of the Family House

Dr. Rasmy Abdel Malak is the head of the educational committee of the Egyptian Family House, an independent institution created by government decree. It is run by the grand sheikh of the Azhar in partnership with the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, involving Egypt’s other Christian denominations as well. The Family House is authorized … Continue reading

The Egyptian Family House: Early Structure and Activity

The Egyptian Family House: Early Structure and Activity

‘National unity’ has long been a part of Egyptian political discourse. Spun positively, it celebrates the equal contributions of Muslims and Christians as one people in the national fabric. Spun negatively, it is crass propaganda used by the ruling class to demonize Islamists and scare both Copts and international observers into supporting the status quo. … Continue reading