After the Easter celebrations, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II will leave for his first visit to the Diaspora churches in Europe. His trip will start with a visit to Italy and then to the Vatican, where he will meet the new Vatican Pope Francis I. A source of the Church revealed that Pope Tawadros will meet bishops and priests of the diaspora churches in Europe. The source also said that the visit to the Vatican State will be the second visit of the Egyptian Church. Former Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III visited the Vatican in 1973. On May 24, Pope Tawadros will go to Austria where he will give a number of lectures at the Clerical College and meet with Cardinals, politicians, and expatriate Copts (Jamāl Jirgis al-Miuzāhim, al-Yawm al-Sābi', Apr. 23, p. 3). Read original text in Arabic.
Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros gave his sermon amid tight security measures off Saint Mark Cathedral on Apr. 17. His sermon came as a comment on al-Khusūs and Cathedral incidents. He called Copts to pray for the church, nation and Christians. He said that the authorities promised him to pass the unified law for worship places (Michael Fāris, al-Yawm al-Sābi’, Apr. 19, p. 5). Read original text in Arabic.
Violence outside Saint Mark Cathedral in al-'Abbāsīyyah district of Cairo left at least two dead and around 90 injured. Although the details of the events are not clear, several thousand people were at the Cathedral attending the funeral for the victims of sectarian violence in al-Khusūs (Peter Majdī, al-Tahrīr, April 8, p. 2). Read original text in Arabic.
Last week Libyan authorities detained around 50 Egyptian Christians on the charges of proselytizing Christianity in Libya, which is illegal under Libyan law. The accused deny the charges and insist that all religious materials were for their own use. Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadrous II has been involved in intense discussions with the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to mediate with the Libyan Embassy to secure the release of the Egyptian prisoners. The President of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organization Najīb Jubrā’īl has threatened to take what he called escalatory steps to internationalize the case and call attention to the failure of the Arab League in solving the crisis (John ‘Abd al-Malāk, al-Misrīyūn, Mar. 3, p. 3). Read original text in Arabic.
The Coptic youth front has announced the presence of Amīr ‘Ayyād, a Coptic activist missing since the clashes outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in al-Muqattam district of Cairo, in intensive care in El Helal Hospital. ‘Ayyād was last seen near al-Nafūrah roundabout in al-Muqattam. Members of the front attempted to contact him but his phone was turned off. His body showed signs of torture similar to those in a previous statement given by another member of CYF, Mīna Sābt. While the CYF holds the Muslim Brotherhood responsible for what happended the Muslim Brotherhood has blamed the Ministry of the Interior. The Front describes the targeting of activists from the Coptic Movements as a response to the pressure exerted over the issue of the Coptic prisoners in Libya. Hānī Jazīrī, co-ordinator for the Movement of Copts for the Sake of Egypt said the kidnapping of activists was a new procedure and would result in groups terrorizing the opposition (‘Abd al-Wahāb Sha'bān, al-Wafd, Mar. 24, p. 3). Read original text in Arabic.
An armed gang has kidnapped a Coptic child, as Copts complain over the state of lawlessness in al-Minya governorate (Muhammad al-Zahrāwī, al-Tahrīr, Mar. 28, p. 10). Read original text in Arabic.
There are new signs of fitnah tā'ifīyah in the town of al-Wastá of Beni Suef Governate. Al-Sabāh reported about a number of anti-Christians pamphlets that were distributed in al-Wastá, in addition to, flyers that were against Saint George Church (Mār Jirjis). The messages accused Saint George Church of being behind the disappearance of a young Muslim girl, and threaten a campaign to close Coptic shops unless she returns. Public figures attended reconciliation session between the disputed Coptic and Muslim families. Despite the presence of security forces, the meeting ended in violent clashes (Author not mentioned, al-Sabāh, March 31, p. 9). Read original text in Arabic.
Al-Tahrīr learned that the emergency meeting called for by Dr. Muhammad Mursi (Mursī) and Defence Minister ‘Abd al-Fattāh al-Sīsī was to deal with the security attacks at Saint Mark Cathedral which occurred during the funeral of the victims of al-Khusūs (Amīrah Ibrāhīm, al-Tahrīr, Apr. 11, p. 3). Read original text in Arabic.
A number of Coptic activists have submitted an official request to Colonel General ‘Abd al-Fatāh Sīsī, Commander-In-Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, Minister of Defense and Military Production and the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, asking the intervention of the army to protect the Copts from attacks against them. The request was made at a conference organized by a group called "Copts under siege" (Author not mentioned, al-Watan, April 12, p. 1). Read original text in Arabic.
Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II ended his retreat from public life and returned to Saint Mark Cathedral on Apr. 14 to visit the victims of al-Khusūs and Cathedral sectarian violence at Al-Hayat Hospital (‘Imād Khalīl, Muhammad Gharīb, Mahmūd ‘Atāllah and ‘Abd al-Hakam al-Jindī, al-Misrī al-Yawm, Apr. 15, p. 1). Read original text in Arabic..