The leader of the Coptic Christians in the UK has spoken out about the events which have severely impacted Coptic believers in Egypt, and called for continued and increased unity in the transition to democracy.
His Grace, Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK said in a statement that seeing Christians and Muslims standing together to reclaim their national identity was very moving, and added that despite the instability still present in the country, he does not fear for Christians or Christianity in Egypt.
Bishop Angaelos welcomed the revolutionary changes which removed president Hosni Mubarak from power in the North African country, and said that the revolution was ‘hopeful and desired a transformation from a despotic regime to a more free and fair democratic nation for all’.
But the Bishop pointed out that presently the transition has not brought about peace and stability, but greater social divisions, and attacks on minorities, particularly Orthodox Christians.
He said: “Through this expected transitional instability, we are not segregating ourselves and looking purely at our own interests as Christians. We do not fear for Christians or Christianity in Egypt where it has been for two thousand years; Egypt is and will continue to be a place in which Christians witness their Faith on a day-to-day basis. We do however fear for Egypt, because it is Egypt that will weaken if all Egyptians do not stand and work together at this time.
“The uprising has not yet reached its ultimate goal, and it is understood that the transition to a fully democratic state, if it is indeed to be reached, will take much time and effort. All necessary steps must be taken to ensure that accountability, justice and complete transparency prevail in the workings of all the apparatus of this state. As an essential part of this process the needless loss of life in Tahrir and Maspero must be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to fulfil the application of this transparent justice.”
A newly formed parliament has just been voted in to office, and many commentators have expressed optimism that the situation will now change for the better. Bishop Angaelos echoes that sentiment.
“This is indeed a time to stand together and call upon God that He may protect and keep His people in Egypt and every place. We have not in the past, and do not intend now, to live in a spirit of defeat or self-pity. The Christian message is one of power and hope; overcoming evil with good, and uncertainty with the knowledge of, and trust in, a true and faithful God.” He said.
January 25th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross