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Orthodox Copts received the Easter with a mournful mood over the death of Pope Shenouda III at the Saint Mark Cathedral in the Cairo district of al-‘Abbāssīyah led by acting patriarch Bishop Pachomius. [Ashraf Sādiq, al-Ahrām, April 15, p. 6] Read original text in Arabic
In a significant development regarding the formation of the constituent assembly drafting a new constitution for Egypt, the Council of State’s Administrative Judiciary Court abolished the panel in its current formation after lawyers and constitutional law professors filed lawsuits objecting its lineup. [Amānī Mājid, Husām al-Jiddāwī and Sāmih Lāshīn, al-Ahrām, April 11, p. 1] Read original text in Arabic
Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III is often praised, in particular by his own followers, for his ecumenical stances. The reality is, however, somewhat different, as the decisions of the Coptic Orthodox Holy Synod show. All synod meetings were presided over by Pope Shenouda, a strong and charismatic leader, who has often selected bishops on the basis of their loyalty to him (see for example John Watson’s “Among the Copts.”). The decisions in the Synod therefore strongly represent Pope Shenouda’s own positions, which show a strong defensive approach to perceived intrusions from Christian denominations, in particular Protestants, with different views from those of the Coptic Orthodox. The Catholics have made strong efforts for dialogue, but on issues such as on the purgatory, the immaculate conception of the Holy Virgin and the place of the church of Rome in the early church the two churches could not come to an agreement.
In the early 1960s during the tenure of late Pope Kyrillos VI, Coptic Orthodox Christians had only seven churches abroad – two in each of the United States, Canada and Australia and only in Britain (1).
Egypt, the Arab world and the international community will pay last respects on Tuesday (March 20) to Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III, who died at the age of 89 on Saturday (March 17), after a celebrated life of achievements in the service of the nation. [Ashraf Sādiq, al-Ahrām, March 19, p. 1] Read original text in Arabic
A fact-finding commission sent by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) to investigate the sectarian unrest in the troubled district of al-'Āmrīyah, Alexandria, revealed that the Christian families forced to leave their homes and property after clashes over a purported love affair between a Muslim woman and a Christian man are now residing in Muslims' houses in the area of al-Huwayjī. [Nādyah Mutāwa' and 'Abd al-Wahāb Sha'bān, al-Wafd, Feb. 15, p. 1] Read original text in Arabic
Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda III led the Eastern Orthodox Christmas Mass at the Saint Mark Cathedral in the Cairo district of al-'Abbāssīyah, attended by members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
For the first time, the General Coptic Organization in Egypt publish an advertisement in Watanī to recommend candidates for the coming parliamentary elections in the first phase.
[Reviewer's Note: these candidates represent the opinion of the organization and not the church.]
An Egyptian Coptic delegation flew to Lebanon on November 14 to attend the first conference organized by the European Union (EU) to discuss the conditions of Christians in the Middle East region.
The Coptic Church rejected the demands raised by some U.S. think tanks for an alternative homeland for Copts. A large number of bishops and priests stressed the necessity of confronting such demands which fuel sectarian tension in Egypt and the Middle East.