- Sep 18, 2020
Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, the head of the Coptic Catholic Church, says after several attacks in the last 12 months by Islamic militants, Christians in Egypt have shown their “unshakable faith.” He was speaking at an event sponsored by the Italian branch of Aid to the Church in Need.
Egypt has battled militants in Sinai for years, but the insurgency became far more deadly after the 2013 military ouster of Mohammed Morsi, an elected Islamist president. Egypt maintains that militants attacking its security forces and minority Christians sneak into the country across the border with Libya carrying weapons.
Pope Francis has sent Pope Tawadros II a letter commemorating the “Day of friendship between the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church,” which marks the 44th anniversary of the first meeting between Blessed Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III.
One major aspect of Pope Francis’s trip to Egypt is the ecumenical encounter with the Coptic Orthodox Church, a member of the Oriental Orthodox communion, which broke with what are now the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches as early as the fifth century, when they rejected the definitions of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Together, the six Churches in the communion represent some 84 million faithful and are among the oldest Christian bodies in the world.
An Indian priest living in Egypt says Pope Francis’s visit has special significance not only in promoting dialogue between Al Azhar and the Vatican, but also in strengthening the culture of peace and coexistence between followers of Christianity and Islam.
In a new interview, Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said that despite the rise of violence and terrorist attacks in the country, Pope Francis never considered not visiting to bring his message of peace to Muslims and Christians in the country.