46. Pope disapproves visiting Jerusalem to avoid an “Electrification” of the political atmosphere

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Pope Shenouda III urges Copts to hold off on visiting Jerusalem until they can go as a group.

 

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Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church disapproved of Egyptian Christians visiting Jerusalem for the sake of pilgrimage.   He noted that he prefers pilgrimage in Egypt, for going to Jerusalem “would not serve the Copts' interests at present.”
 
“Going to Jerusalem for the sake of pilgrimage would further electrify the political atmosphere because the Palestinians would be upset and angry if the Christians took a step which would be deemed a normalization of relations with the Jews—a group currently seizing holy place,” the Pope said in his semi-monthly sermon in Alexandria.
 
He called for Christians to wait until they are able go as a group, and not to visit Jerusalem on an individual basis, especially in light of a “war” currently inside Jerusalem.
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