The ‘Great March of Return’ continued into its 32nd week. Palestinian factions agreed to ensure protests remained peaceful, after reaching agreement in talks brokered by Egypt. This decision followed Israel’s expansion of the permitted fishing zone off the Gaza coast and agreement to transfer funds from Qatar for Hamas salaries.
Lord, we pray for the peace talks led by Egypt and the UN, that there may be a cessation of the suffering in Gaza. Lord, in your mercy...
Today, as the Executive Committee of the World Council of Churches began its meeting in Uppsala, Sweden, we received news of another attack against our Coptic Christian sisters and brothers in Egypt. It is reported that gunmen killed at least 7 people and wounded 14 others in an attack on a bus driving towards a Coptic Christian monastery. We condemn this attack, and are holding the victims, their families, their communities and their church in prayer and solidarity. This attack in Egypt is yet another abhorrent example of the rising incidence of hate-crimes against people based on their religious identity. We denounce it in the strongest possible terms, and call for urgent political and social action - and theological reflection - in all contexts in which such crimes take place to counter the hate and intolerance on which they are based, and to promote respect for diversity, for human dignity and rights, and for freedom of religion or belief for all.
The Coptic Orthodox Bishops of North America issued the following statement on Oct. 24 regarding the attack on Al Sultan Monastery of the Coptic Orthodox Church at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. You can read more about this incident here.
We, the Coptic Orthodox Bishops of North America, strongly denounce the abhorrent treatment of monks and deacons serving in the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem under the auspices of His Eminence Metropolitan Antonius of Jerusalem and the unlawful arrest of one of the monks, as they exercised their right for peaceful protest against the illegal seize of the Sultan Monastery in Jerusalem.
Last week, St. Catherine in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, hosted the launch of the World Peace Forum under the slogan, "Here We Pray Together for World Peace." A number of governmental ministers and ambassadors attended the forum. The Governor of South Sinai, the Minister of Endowments and the head of the religious committee in the Egyptian parliament gave the opening speeches. The following day, the Minister of Endowments gave a Friday sermon at the Holy Valley Mosque. After Friday prayers, he visited the monastery and met with the Coptic Orthodox Bishop. In the afternoon, the governor held a press conference, where he announced the ‘Charter of St. Catherine for World Peace’, to confirm that St. Catherine is the convergence of heavenly religions.
The Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, president of the Protestant Community of Egypt, and the General Secretary of the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services, attended the event and spoke.Read more
A delegation from Egypt recently visited the U.S. for a week, meeting with civic, religious, and civil society leaders. The visit was part of an ongoing Egyptian-U.S. Dialogue Initiative, organized jointly by Global Ministries of the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and our partner in Egypt, the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), among others. The Initiative is an effort to increase contact among people from different strata of society—Muslims and Christians, parliamentarians, journalists, and academics—to create understanding about each other that goes beyond headlines.Read more
Global Ministries, Disciples, and UCC leaders among signatories on letter to Congress about military aid
Leaders of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the United Church of Christ, and Global Ministries were among 15 ecumenical Christian leaders signing a letter to members of Congress expressing concern about US military sales and military aid to countries in the Middle East. The Rev. Teresa Hord Owens and the Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Ministers and Presidents of the Disciples and UCC (respectively), and the Rev. Julia Brown Karimu and the Rev. Dr. James Moos, Co-Executives of Global Ministries, signed the letter, dated March 14, which stated, "We firmly believe that stability and long-term security in the Middle East will only come about when the United States and other countries move away from a militarized approach and the profits that come from perpetual conflict."Read more
World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit addressed the status of Jerusalem at the international "World Conference in Support of Jerusalem" on 17-18 January in Cairo, Egypt, organized by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh al-Tayyib, under the auspices of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.Read more
WCC News: “No single minute is invested in vain” - How an Egyptian doctor promotes dialogue via health work
By Katja Dorothea Buck*
Freddy Elbaiady has made history as a politician. But what counts most for the 46-year-old Egyptian doctor is his work at the Salam Medical Center (SMC) in El-Qanatir, north of Cairo. The bridges between Christians and Muslims that are built through this work are sustainable even in times of crisis.
Freddy Elbaiady has many professions and ministries. He is a respected radiologist in Cairo, runs a medical center in his hometown El-Qanatir, is a member of the local church council, and is involved in Evangelical church politics in his capacity as one of the members of the Supreme Council of Protestant Churches in Egypt. To the wider public he became known in 2013, when he accepted an offer to join the Muslim Brotherhood dominated parliament as one of the few Christian members. TV news programs were and still are happy to invite him for discussions on interreligious coexistence, the role of the churches in Egypt and politics in general. No doubt, this man has influence and prestige. But if asked to talk about himself he remains reticent.Read more
World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit condemned an attack at a mosque in Egypt during which hundreds of people are believed dead. Tveit expressed sorrow for the lives lost as news continued to unfold of the attack on 24 November.Read more
Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt, condemned the terrorist attack on the worshipers during Friday prayers at Al Rawdah Mosque in Bir Al-Abed area in North Sinai, 184 were killed and 125 were wounded up till now.Read more