The Stand of the Church in Egypt is Honourable and Rational

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The Stand of the Church in Egypt is Honourable and Rational

By Fr. Rif'at Bader from New York

It was neither normal nor natural to have dozens of churches burned in one day in one country, Egypt. Yes, in Egypt, the country of civilisation and culture and coexistence that extends to hundreds or even thousands of years. This event is saddening, shameful and condemned by all conscientious people who are aware of the seriousness of what is happening not only to Christians but to the entire population.

 

The honourable position of the Church is represented by its leadership, pluralism and its noble people. There were no statements calling for revenge or reciprocity. The people know that those who committed the crime, are not Muslims but rather a faction that takes religion as a pretext for some time, and later reveals its hidden intentions of the overwhelming desire to eliminate the other side. This was also accompanied by a sweeping desire to impart a bleak image on all the main components of the people and on all state facilities.

 

No statements were issued by the Church, or churches, in Egypt or the East as a whole calling for revenge or making threats. And when some of the Facebook pages attributed to Pope Francis threats and warnings, several parties, including those in Jordan, denied this claim as null and void noting that such a position cannot be attributed to the Pope who had denounced violence and repeatedly called for prayer for Egypt and for the termination of violence there. The Pope never reverted to threats nor following an obsolete politics which calls for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth—which is neither the position of the Holy Bible nor the Church.

 

 

It is worthy to recall what the Pope said recently in front of crowds of people: "A Christian is not violent and violence is not his master. But at the same time he is strong, and his strength lies in his love and gentleness."

 

Pope Tawadros II was fully cognizant of his sensitive status, and that he could send huge crowds of people to the streets to satisfy the desires of revenge and sow hatred. But he did not make "nonsensical remarks", as he asked members of his church to pray "for every Egyptian citizen so that prayers can serve as a shield to protect the country from terrorism and violence".

As for the Catholic Church in Egypt, it elucidated its position in a statement, signed by the head of the Catholic churches, Patriarch Ishaq Ibrahim, which asserted: First, strong, full and free support to all state institutions, especially the Egyptian police and armed forces. Second: ِAppreciation of the stand of the sincere faithful who understand the nature of the course of events, and their outright rejection of any attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt. Third: The Church thanked Egyptian and foreign media which carried reports on the events objectively and impartially, also condemned the media, which disseminates lies and falsifies the truth in order to mislead the world public opinion. Fourth: The statement thanked honourable Muslim brothers who stood by its side, as much as they could, to defend their churches and institutions. Fifth: The statement addressed the conscience of the world and all state officials to fully understand and believe that what was happening in Egypt is not a political struggle between different factions, but rather a war of all Egyptians against terrorism.

This is the rational and honourable position of the churches of Egypt, which we applaud their patience and reason. In Jordan, as is the case with Jordanians all the times, the attacks on churches were not supported by any side, except by some writers who put the blame on the Copts due to their sincere national position. These writers gloated over what happened to these churches expressing its legitimacy.

But such views were rejected altogether on social networking sites through the responses to the hallucinations of a member of staff of one of the oldest universities of Jordan. 

No doubt, the region needs voices of reason, reconciliation to exclude religious sites from political conflicts. We are not in need of those who ignite the fire of hatred here and there. The voice of reason is inevitable, isn't this right?

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