In a letter to Pope Francis, the patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church Tawadros II proposed making one date for Easter celebrations for all Christian Churches.
According to Fides News Agency, Tawadros II's letter was delivered to the Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Exc. Mgr. Paul Gobel. The letter also marks the anniversary of the first meeting in the Vatican between the two popes.
Francis' representative has in turn invited a representative of the Coptic Church to the next Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops, which is to be held in October. more >>
A group of Spanish archaeologists claim they may have recovered one of the earliest images of Jesus Christ, painted on the inside of a 6th Century, underground structure near burial tombs in Upper Egypt alongside Coptic inscriptions and plant motifs.
Josep Padro of the Catalan Egyptology Society led a team of archaeologists in discovering the image, which was painted on the wall of an underground structure among burial tombs in the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus in Upper Egypt. The town has been considered to be archaeologically rich because of its ancient people's worship of the Egyptian God Osiris, but this most recent find is from much later, the 6th Century, and relates to the Christian religion.
As Padro told La Vanguardia newspaper, his team discovered "five or six coats of paint on the walls [in the underground structure], the last of which was from the Coptic period of the first Christians." more >>
In a mass trial on Monday, an Egyptian judge sentenced 683 supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi to death for their alleged involvement in post-coup violence following Morsi's departure from office in 2013. The recent ruling has been denounced by human rights groups which argue such mass trials fail to find justice.
Judge Said Youssef announced his ruling Monday in the city of Minya, south of Cairo. Youssef said the 683 defendants, the majority of whom were tried in absentia, were guilty of participating in post-coup violence in August 2013. The violence occurred after the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and was prompted in part to violent clashes between police and Islamic protesters in Cairo.
The judge said his verdict must still be approved by the Grand Mufti, the leading Islamic in the nation, although this portion of the sentencing is reportedly considered to be a formality. more >>
An eyewitness report indicates a Coptic woman was recently attacked by Islamic extremists while delivering medicine to the sick near her church in the suburbs of Cairo, Egypt. The attack is one of many carried out by supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood after the toppling of former leader Mohamed Morsi.
Although several Egyptian media outlets did not report on last Friday's violent attack in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, an eyewitness of the gruesome event still managed to relay their story to 90 Minutes, a program of the al-Mehwar satellite network.
One Coptic Christian told the media outlet of the horrific event on Friday, when a mob of Islamic extremists reportedly attacked 25-year-old Mary Sameh George, a Copt who was delivering medicine to an elderly friend near her church when attackers noticed a cross hanging from the rear view mirror in her car. They then reportedly attacked her in her car, eventually pulling her out onto the street where she was stabbed. more >>
Violence in Egypt against Coptic Christians has continued despite the fall of former president Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, with believers still facing abductions and the government seizing their property, the Board of Inquiry in Cairo reported.
The report, according to Fides News Agency, shows that Copts, who make up close to 10 percent of the population, are continuing to face "endemic forms of violence and abuse" in many parts of Egypt, particularly in the governorates of Luxor, Sohag and Aswan.
"The worrying scenario has been reconstructed in detail on the basis of meetings with community representatives, civil society organizations and material provided which witness this phenomena of violence," Fides reported. more >>
An Egyptian court has sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death for the murder of a policeman and their role in anti-government clashes, a ruling which human rights lawyers has called "over the top."
"This is way over the top and unacceptable. It turns the judiciary in Egypt from a tool for achieving justice to an instrument for taking revenge," said lawyer Mohamed Zarie, who heads the Arab Penal Reform Organization rights center in Cairo, according to The Associated Press on Monday.
"This verdict could be a precedent both in the history of Egyptian courts and perhaps, tribunals elsewhere in the world." more >>