Developments in Muslim-Christian relations in the Arab world

Council of Egypt’s Churches demand that international community rescue remaining Christians in Libya

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Date of source: 
February 16, 2015
Author: 
Māykal Fāris
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Council of Egypts Churches demand that international community rescue remaining Christians in Libya

The Council of Egypt’s Churches announced, with great sorrow, the death of 21 Egyptian martyrs in Libya on account of their religious identity and offered condolences to their families. The Council demanded that the international community act quickly to save the remaining Christians of Libya and asked Egyptian officials to label those killed officially as martyrs so their families receive material and moral support.

(16 February 2015, al-Yawm al-Sābiʿ, Māykal Fāris)

Read original article here

 

The Visit of Pope Tawadros II to Ethiopia and the Future of Egypt's Renaissance Dam Negotiations

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Reviewer: 
Not given
Article summary: 

In the course of a protocol he signed with Hūssām Mūghāzi Egypt's minister of water resources and irrigation for an awareness campaign to save the Nile river from encroachment and pollution, and few weeks before his scheduled visit to Ethiopia in September, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark Diocese highlighted the importance of the Nile for the country, pointing out that the Coptic liturgy celebrates "Lāylat al-Nuqtah”, or the Night of the Drop, which is dedicated to the Nile when the river is at its lowest level and the inundation period starts. “We pray to God, asking him to preserve the waters of the Nile, and in our hymns of ́Ushyia (intercession), we implore God to bless also the valleys, rain falls, and wells,” the Patriarch added.

Weekly Press Summary, Week 46 (12 Nov. - 18 Nov. 2014)

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Weekly Press Summary, Week 46 (12 Nov. - 18 Nov. 2014)
Date of source: 
November 18, 2014
Author: 
Aliki Efthimiou and Robert Forster
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 5. Jewish extremist groups gather for march around the Aqsa Mosque Sunday 

 Sources within the Muslim Brotherhood said that several administrative offices have been assigned in various parts of the country to mobilize large numbers of people to participate in the events of 28 November next. The group invited the Salafist group called "Muslim uprising" to their event indicating that they would not announce it officially to avoid consequential reactions by the state and society in the case of the use of force against the state. The sources added that there is a disagreement between organization’s leaders abroad about the official announcement on whether to participate. Sources said that there are many people within the group who rejected the invitation itself because it may transform Egypt to another Syria or Libya. (Sayyid ʿAlī & Yāssir ʿAlī, al-Masrī al-Yawm, 12 November 2014)

Read full article here.

(On 1st February 2016 the link was no longer available)

10. Church and Politics under Pope Tawadros

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10. Church and Politics under Pope Tawadros
Date of source: 
May 28, 2014
Author: 
Jayson Casper
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By appearances, the Coptic Orthodox Church is doing everything wrong. But appearances can be deceiving; officially, they are doing everything right.

But there is a messy in-between which casts doubt on it all. As convoluted as Egypt’s post-June 30 transition has been following the popular deposing of President Muhammad Mursī, the church has matched it step-by-step.

39. The Institute of Middle East Studies: A Lebanese-Christian voice for dialogue; give Muslim leaders a voice in the Christian community

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39. The Institute of Middle East Studies: A Lebanese-Christian voice for dialogue; give Muslim leaders a voice in the Christian community
Date of source: 
May 22, 2014
Author: 
Cornelis Hulsman
Article summary: 

Arab-West Report has had infrequent contact throughout the years with scholars of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) in Beirut, who founded the Institute of Middle East Studies. Arab-West Report obtained permission to republish Arthur Brown’s “Speaking Out: Muslim Leaders Respond to the Kidnapping of Nigerian Girls.” There is no question that the Institute of Middle East Studies is a Christian institution with a clear Christian mission towards education, peace-building and advocacy. We greatly appreciate that the institute provides Muslim leaders an opportunity to express their voice to a mostly Christian audience.

35. Dutch Jesuit Frans van der Lugt refusal to leave Homs cost him his life

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35. Dutch Jesuit Frans van der Lugt refusal to leave Homs cost him his life
Date of source: 
April 8, 2014
Author: 
Cornelis Hulsman
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Father Frans van der Lugt was yesterday murdered in cold blood in the rebel-held area of Homs, Syria. When the UN brokered ceasefire began in February this year Father Frans van der Lugt refused to be evacuated. He wanted to remain with the 23 Christians who were the last of a community which used to consist of 60,000. Father van der Lugt spent nearly five decades in Syria and considered the country to be his home. "The Syrian people have given me so much, so much kindness, inspiration and everything they have. If the Syrian people are suffering now, I want to share their pain and their difficulties," he told AFP in February. Furthermore he did not want the Christian heritage to disappear from Homs. Some Christians had to remain behind to project this heritage he believed.

 

9. Debating Religious Freedom in the Constitution: European Concerns and Egyptian Realities

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Article title: 
9. Debating Religious Freedom in the Constitution: European Concerns and Egyptian Realities
Date of source: 
March 20, 2013
Author: 
Jayson Casper
Article summary: 

The recent transcript published by Arab West Report on our interview with Bishop Antonios of the Coptic Catholic Church has attracted the attention of scholars in the West. In particular, Dr. Wolfram Reiss, professor of historical and comparative studies of religions at the University of Vienna, offered his perspective and invited a response from AWR Editor-in-Chief Cornelis Hulsman and Bishop Antonios. 

 

1. Why the Orthodox Bishop's View Must be Included

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1. Why the Orthodox Bishop's View Must be Included
Date of source: 
January 16, 2014
Author: 
Yosra El Gendi
Article summary: 

On Friday, November 29, an article appeared in al-Fath, an independent Salafī newspaper, written by reporters Tāriq Bahgat and Walīd Mansūr. [1] The article reports on the discussion that took place between Bishop Bola, the representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the Constituent Assembly, and Al-Azhar scholars about the articles relating to Al-Azhar in the Constitution as well as the so-called “identity articles”, which pertain to the interpretation of Islamic sharī’ah in the new constitution and the role of Al-Azhar. Whereas the Nūr Party representatives sought to impose a stricter interpretation of shar’īah and include it in the draft together with a stronger role for Al-Azhar, the representatives of the Churches refused that. [2] The discussion escalated to the point that Bishop Bola threatened to withdraw from the Constituent Assembly. [3] The article expresses polemic views against Bishop Bola and against the Church’s position of the aforementioned articles.

 

Security alerts as Christmas arrives in Egypt

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Article title: 
Security alerts as Christmas arrives in Egypt
Date of source: 
January 6, 2014
Author: 
Yosra El Gendi
Article summary: 

See full text here.

39. Placating Salafis for Constitutional Passage?

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Article title: 
39. Placating Salafis for Constitutional Passage?
Date of source: 
December 1, 2013
Author: 
Jayson Casper
Article summary: 

As of today, December 2, 2013, the appointed fifty-member of the committee to amend the 2012 Egyptian Constitution are engaged in final voting on each article. They face a deadline to complete their work by December 3, after which it will be put to a national referendum in mid-January.

In advance of their voting, on November 26, the U.S.-based rights organization Coptic Solidarity issued a press release warning about the influence of Islamists.

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