“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.” (Proverbs 27:17, NRSV)
I am fascinated with wisdom literature. I spend time reading through my favored texts - Buddhist Scripture, Idries Shah’s Rumi-centric Hundred Tales of Wisdom, and Benedicta Ward’s translation of the Sayings of the Desert Fathers. Such works have exposed me to a wide variety of perspectives on human and spiritual fulfillment, many of which are joined together by a shared sinew of belief: collectively, we humans are preoccupied with what’s directly in front of us – thus, we often prevent ourselves from being able to see the “big picture”.Read more
In response to the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity’s latest initiative, the Global Initiative for “Human Fraternity," the Middle East Council of Churches renews its appeal for people to actively participate tomorrow, on the 14th of May 2020, in a day of prayer, fasting, invocation, and charity, each according to his/her own religion or sect or belief, asking God to help us overcome the Corona pandemic which is threatening the lives of millions of people, to inspire scientists to discover the appropriate cure, and to save the world from the medical, economic, and human consequences of this detrimental virus.Read more
The city of Cairo is approximately 1,191 square miles – roughly the same size as Rhode Island, the diminutive locale where I and about a million others have lived for most of our lives. For many people in the Ocean State, a twenty-minute trip in the car is often “a little too much;” taking the highway to Boston may elicit gasps or groans and travel outside of New England is spoken of in hushed, aggrieved tones.Read more
Written by the Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, President
The Protestant Churches of Egypt
and The Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services
Dear partners and friends,
Our world today is going through a serious health crisis the Coronavirus (COVID-19)which threatens the health and lives of thousands of people, but we trust in God's ability to save the whole world and we pray that this crisis will end soon.
For the first time in Egypt , all churches and mosques have suspended all their spiritual activities until the end of this month. This decision was taken to protect the lives of citizens and to help minimize the spread of this dangerous virus.Read more
The classical historian Herodotus wrote that Egypt is the gift of the Nile. Having recently surpassed an official population count of 100 million, Egypt remains dependent on adequate flow of Nile River water for drinking, agriculture, and generation of hydroelectric power. Egypt and Ethiopia have been in negotiations to reach a fair and just allocation of Nile River water since Ethiopia announced that it would begin construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam ten years ago. The dam, located near the northern border of Ethiopia, was proposed in order to harvest hydroelectric power that would contribute to Ethiopia’s development. At the same time, the dam would constrict the flow of Nile water to Sudan and to Egypt, and so Egypt has opposed the construction of the dam without an agreement in place to ensure adequate access to water, despite asserting its support for the successful development of Ethiopia.Read more
The Theological and Ecumenical Department of the Middle East Council of Churches has launched its process entitled " Kairos Middle East Towards Churches Global Compact " in a first consultation seminar that brought together about 25 experts in theology and geopolitics from Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and Jordan. The seminar took place over a three-day period from 6 till 8 December 2019 in Bethania, Lebanon.Read more
As a result of armed struggles and conflict, the beginning of the 21st century was branded as an era of forced migration. Millions of people were forced to leave their homes and belongings, in an attempt to escape the violence and merely rekindle hope for a brighter future. This led to unforeseen socioeconomic ramifications and pressures on host communities; a point which in no ways whatsoever should be blamed on those forced to displace.Read more
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.