Tagged with Orthodoxy

Evangelical Ethiopian Helps End Orthodox Schism

Evangelical Ethiopian Helps End Orthodox Schism

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on August 14. Ending 27 years of schism, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians in their homeland and in America reunited the two feuding branches of one of the world’s oldest churches. Ironically, the push came from the Horn of Africa nation’s new evangelical prime minister. “It is impossible to … Continue reading

How Do Copts Endure their Martyrdoms?

How Do Copts Endure their Martyrdoms?

From my article published at Providence Magazine: “On a day like today,” Fr. Samaan Shehata was murdered in Cairo. The day was October 12, but he likely read those very words in mass just one day earlier, introducing the lives of the saints. Hunted down and stabbed repeatedly by a Muslim extremist, his name now … Continue reading

Who are the Copts?

Who are the Copts?

World attention has turned to the Coptic Christian community of Egypt, following the beheading of 20 of their migrant workers in Libya at the hands of the so-called Islamic State. The Coptic Orthodox Church considers them martyrs. A new icon venerates their death and their names have been added into the Synaxarion, the liturgical church … Continue reading

Applying the Cross (On Your Wrist)

One of the distinctive marks of a Coptic Christian is the cross tattoo worn on the wrist. Sometimes applied as early as forty days after birth (and following baptism), the tattoo is a permanent identification marker signaling to all the faith and community belonging of the bearer. Girgis Ghobrial is an electrical engineer by training … Continue reading

Egyptian Wisdom and Easter Hope

In Egypt, Easter is celebrated today according to the Orthodox calendar. It is a rather strange holiday as it sets off a bit of schizophrenia in the country. Unlike Christmas, which is a national holiday, Easter is a regular day. Except it isn’t. Christians are allowed the day off, and many Muslims take it also. … Continue reading

Reflecting on the Papal Shrines

Five people were killed yesterday at St. Bishoy Monastery, crushed to death visiting the shrine of Pope Shenouda. I was nearly there, along with my three year old daughter. It was meant to be part two of my visits to the shrines of the most recent popes. The second leg was not planned with the … Continue reading

Selecting the Next Pope

Near thirty journalists gathered at the Cairo Foreign Press Association headquarters to gain insight on the process involved in selecting a successor to the recently deceased Pope Shenouda. Arab West Report presented its research on the subject, accepting also further inquiries. The March 27 meeting was opened by FPA board member Sayid Ghuriyat, and presided … Continue reading

Christianity Today on Pope Shenouda

Just a short post today to direct to the article I contributed to Christianity Today on why the death of Pope Shenouda is also mourned by Egypt’s Protestants. If you click on the link above today you will see it highlighted as the lead story. Afterwards, please click here for the permanent link. I hope … Continue reading

A Few Thoughts and Links on Pope Shenouda

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 … Continue reading

St. John the Short

The Coptic Orthodox Church is filled with the stories of saints, so much that the production of their movies has become a cottage industry. They are not always the best acted or of the highest Hollywood production value, but they open a window into the worldview of Egyptian Christians. I first heard of St. John … Continue reading

Remembering Alexandria

One year ago this evening Egypt was rocked by an explosion in Alexandria, killing twenty-one and injuring over 170, at the Two Saints’ Church in the Sidi Bishr region. One year before that, at Coptic Christmas on January 7, six Christians were killing along with a Muslim security guard at a church in Nag Hamadi, … Continue reading

John, the To-Be Monk, Eventually

Becoming a monk in Egypt is a long process, one I have not studied completely, but encounter often on visits to various monasteries. This weekend my family and I visited St. Toma Monastery to the northwest of Cairo, about two hours away. It is among the newer monasteries in Egypt, but is a sister monastery … Continue reading