3. As a Copt.. How can I live?

Article summary: 

A symposium

entitled, ‘How can I live as a Copt?’ held in Shubra,

discussed the role of Copts and the importance of

their effective contribution to society.

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In a symposium,

entitled ’How can I live as a Copt?’ held at the

St. Mārī Girgis Khamārwīya

Church in Shoubrā, many issues concerning the roles of Copts

in society were brought up; including the way

in which they are perceived by others.
Bishop Rafael,

responsible for churches in central Cairo, talked

about the role of Copts in terms to divinity and humanity.

He said that Christ combined the divine, which

represents eternity and the human, which represents the

temporary life on earth. Copts should also mingle between

both ideologies without any contradictions or

Bishop Rafael asserted that the bible

refers to "the light of the world" not "the

light of the church", which proves the importance of the Copts’

roles within society. He added that the

isolation and passivity of the Copts are only a result of false ideas and

Dr. Hanna Grace

disagreed with the title of the symposium, and thought the title should have been;

"As an Egyptian citizen"

instead of "as a Copt", since the former represents the idea of national unity.

pointed out that

the Copts have long been misunderstood by many political entities and have never been paid the


they deserve. Moreover, liberalists saw freedom of expression as the basic element of the movie Bahibb

al-cima [I love cinema], after it was strongly criticized by some Copts. The Muslim Brotherhood, on the


hand, denies any clashes between Muslims and Christians.
Dr. Hanna added that Copts stopped

participating in

society after the 1952 revolution. He believes that the solution is found in true

contribution and in being

interested in public issues such as; child labor, discrimination against women,

and demanding the right of freedom

of expression and freedom of religion.
During the symposium, a

young man commented that the idea of monastic

life is the main reason behind the passivity and the isolation

of Copts. Bishop Rafael replied that a monk is

trained to serve society in many different ways, such as

writing, translating and following current

Another young man commented that some political

waves present a wrong image to youth, therefore it

is illogical to assume that the Muslim Brotherhood is

two-faced, presenting different views in the media from those

taught within the organization. He added that

Copts should support liberals, as he agrees that criticizing a movie

represents a lack of self-confidence.

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