The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Coptic Christians in Egypt: Standing at the Crossroads 4 August , 2011

On the morning of January, 28th, 2011 — the morning of the “Friday of Anger” protests in Egypt — I was attending Friday mass at the Coptic Orthodox church next to home. I still remember vividly how people at church on that day were praying and pleading due to fear and anxiety over the unstable situation in Egypt. I waited anxiously for the priest to send a clear message through his sermon. I wanted him to tell the people how they should react to what’s happening in Egypt now and what role they should play. Instead, he pointed out the role that Christians should not play. In a light tone that doesn’t match the seriousness of the topic, he said:

“We Christians have nothing to do with what is happening in the streets these days, ok? Don’t tell me we’re going to the streets and protesting. I urge every family to take its son and daughter and go directly home, make a nice breakfast and switch on the TV; at least, this is what I’m going to do.”

The priest’s comment was followed by soft laughter from the audience. I felt outraged.

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