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.
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
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.