Presidency, Church prepare joint Ethiopia trip to discuss controversial dam

Emad Khalil 7/6/13 Egypt's presidency and the Coptic Orthodox Church are coordinating for a joint trip to Ethiopia by President Mohamed Morsy and Pope Tawadros II, where they will discuss with Ethiopian officials a means to resolve a dispute over Ethiopia's Millennium Dam. Last week, Ethiopia announced the diversion of the Blue Nile's stream as a step towards ...

Coptic leaders call for uniting Christians under one political party

Emad Khalil 29/01/2012 Participants in a conference of Coptic leaders on Sunday called for uniting Coptic Christians under one political party, and requested that the pope investigate bishops who allegedly urged Coptic voters to vote for the Egyptian Bloc in the parliamentary elections, thereby “dispersing their votes,” as they put it. They also rejected the appointment of ...

Church leaders at odds over planned 25 January demonstrations

Emad Khalil Ragab Ramadan 11/01/2012 Religious figures from different Egyptian Christian sects have taken opposing stances on the involvement of Copts in the planned protests on 25 January, one year after the start of the Egyptian uprising. Some church leaders have called on Coptic Christians to boycott the demonstrations, while others have encouraged participation. In defense of the boycott, ...

Church: 70% of Copts voted during first phase of elections

Emad Khalil 04/12/2011 Christians do not fear the rise of Islamists in Egypt — what scares them instead are electoral tactics that go against religious teachings that are used by so-called religious people, said Father Rady Attallah Iskander of the Anglican Church of Alexandria. Iskander told Al-Masry Al-Youm that most Islamists winning seats in the parliamentary elections, such ...

Church not directing Copts to vote for certain candidates, says bishop

Emad Khalil 26/11/2011 The Coptic Orthodox Church said Saturday it is not specifying a list of candidates for Coptic adherents to vote for in the upcoming parliamentary elections and is merely calling on Copts to vote. Recent rumors that the church is directing Copts to vote for certain candidates are not true, Bishop Morkos, a member of the ...

Coptic pope cancels ordainment anniversary over Maspero violence

Emad Khalil 31/10/2011 The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, has decided to cancel celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of his ascension to the post, a church source told Al-Masry Al-Youm. The pope canceled the event, scheduled for 14 November, over the death of 27 people - mostly Coptic protesters - in the violence that ...

Pope calls on SCAF to release Maspero Detainees

Emad Khalil 16/10/2011 Pope Shenouda III has demanded the release of all those detained during the violence that took place outside the Maspero building, said a source from the Coptic Orthodox Church. The demand came during Shenouda’s Sunday morning meeting at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral with representatives of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), who ...

Coptic Church resumes examination of Divorce Requests

Emad Khalil Ragab Ramadan 20/09/2011 The Coptic Orthodox Church’s Clerical Council for Personal Affairs resumed on Tuesday examining requests for divorce submitted by Copts, after a hiatus of two months while Copts held demonstrations demanding the right to divorce and remarry. Pope Shenouda asked the council to facilitate divorce procedures without violating the teachings of the Holy Book, which ...

120 Coptic Christians leave Orthodox Church over divorce, remarriage laws

Emad Khalil 18/09/2011 The Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt has received more than 120 individual notices from Coptic Christians informing the Church that they have permanently left the denomination, according to Church sources on Sunday. According to one source, those declaring their intent to leave the denomination claimed it would “help them make use of Islamic law before ...

Coptic Church sues government over New Year’s Eve Church Bombing

Emad Khalil 13/09/2011 The Saint Mark Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and Interior Minister Mansour al-Essawy for the slow pace of the investigation into who was behind the New Years Eve church bombing, which left 23 Copts dead on 1 January. News reports have said that documents seized ...

Egyptian churches reject call for massive anti-Israel Protest

Emad Khalil 25/08/2011 Egyptian churches announced on Thursday their rejection of a protest scheduled for next Friday to demand the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Cairo. A number of activists who have been staging a sit-in in front of the Israeli Embassy called Tuesday for a million-strong demonstration to take place this Friday to demand the removal ...

Copts demanding right to divorce will collectively leave Church

Emad Khalil Yomna Mokhtar 13/08/2011 The Right to Life Movement, a Coptic group, said a large number of its members will collectively leave the Coptic Orthodox Church, while retaining their Christianity, in response to the Church's refusal to permit divorce and second marriages except in cases of adultery. A senior bishop, who asked not to be named, downplayed the ...

Coptic Church denies reports of Shenouda’s deteriorating Health

Emad Khalil 10/08/2011 The Coptic Orthodox Church has denied rumors that its leader Pope Shenouda III is seriously ill. The Church said that Shenouda was in “good health” and that he was carrying on with his regular duties such as “meeting certain figures and attending the weekly sermon.” The rumors began on a Twitter account claiming to belong to ...

Church leaders reject governors’ reshuffle for excluding Copts

Emad Khalil 06/08/2011 Church leaders expressed anger at the exclusion of Copts in this week's reshuffle of governors, saying they expected authorities to include three Coptic governors instead of one, as was the case before the revolution. Eleven new governors were appointed in the reshuffle. The priest at Virgin Mary Church in Omaraniya, Flopatir Gamil, said excluding ...

Coptic movements reject dialogue with Muslim Brotherhood

Emad Khalil 03/08/2011 Coptic movements have rejected a joint statement by the Coptic General Authority (CGA) and the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, in which they have endorsed the Al-Azhar declaration calling for a civil state. They said the Brotherhood often changes its stances and promises. “The group wants to impose its own ideology,” said Sherif Ramzy, ...

Coptic Church cancels this year’s national Unity Iftar

Emad Khalil 31/07/2011 A source from the Coptic Church said on Sunday that Pope Shenouda III has canceled the usual yearly national unity Ramadan iftar. The event was scheduled to take place on 16 August, before the pope's trip to Hungary on 19 August to open the first Coptic church in Budapest. The source explained that the pope had ...

Egyptian Churches: Copts are free to take part in Protests

Emad Khalil 28/07/2011 The Egyptian Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic churches said on Thursday that all Egyptian Christians are free to participate in demonstrations, calling on Muslims and Christians to put the interests of the country above all other considerations. “We hope Friday’s demonstrations will not feature any clashes,” said Andre Zaki, vice president of the Anglican Church. Meanwhile, two ...

Pope’s sermon ignores Second Marriage Controversy

Emad Khalil 28/07/2011 The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, in his weekly sermon on Wednesday ignored Christians' mounting demands for the right to divorce and remarry. The sermon, instead, dealt with the issue of infidelity and family devotion. Earlier this month, Christians staged a number of protests in front of the papal office in Cairo, ...

Coptic Church threatens to sue interior ministry over Alexandria Church Bombing

Emad Khalil 24/07/2011 The Coptic Church has threatened to file a lawsuit against the interior ministry, demanding that it bring to trial those accused of bombing the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve, killing 24 people and wounding 100 others. “The ministry has ignored numerous notifications by the church to the attorney general and the ...

Orthodox Church denies attacking Coptic protesters with Dogs

Emad Khalil Haitham al-Sharkawi 21/07/2011 The Orthodox Church issued a statement on Wednesday denying it had used dogs to attack Coptic protesters. Over 120 Copts had surrounded the Clerical Council of Saint Mark's Cathedral in Abbasseya on Monday to protest against the Orthodox Church’s refusal to grant them remarriage rights, and they filed a complaint the same day ...

Pope criticizes Mubarak for handling of Sectarianism

Emad Khalil 11/07/2011 The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church on Monday slammed former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime for the way it handled sectarian issues, a church source said on Monday. Pope Sheounda III's remarks came during a Sunday meeting with European MPs and diplomats. The meeting discussed the political situation in post-revolution Egypt. The European delegation included German ...