The founder of an international group of advocates for the equality and rights of Coptic Christians is appealing to the leaders of democratic nations to cut any ties with Egypt. The Voice of the Copts is attempting to thwart President Mohamed Morsi's regime from implementing a primarily Islamic-based constitution.
"We demand that world leaders withdraw their recognition of Egypt's phony 'pro-democracy' leader, Mr. Morsi, who is backed by the illegal Muslim Brotherhood party," states Dr. Ashraf Ramelah, president of Voice of the Copts, in an open letter sent Monday. "Freeze your political relationships with Egypt, halt all investments and aid to Egypt and force Mr. Morsi's regime to step down. This will facilitate legitimate democratic goals yet to be achieved by Egypt's freedom fighters."
Coptic organizations around the world, including the U.S.-based Egyptian Front for National Salvation and Coptic Solidarity have been issuing similar demands since Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration in which he arrogated to himself sweeping powers, and enabled himself to be shielded from legal challenge through the courts. more >>
A U.S.-based group of advocates for the equality and rights of Coptic Christians plans to hold a demonstration in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, to condemn the power grab and other illegitimate measures taken by President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt, organizers stated Friday.
The Egyptian Front for National Salvation and Coptic Solidarity is upset by the fact that 10 days before the Supreme Constitutional Court was scheduled to issue its ruling on Dec. 2 in lawsuits regarding the legitimacy of the Constituent Assembly, Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration in which he arrogated to himself sweeping powers, and enabled himself to be shielded from legal challenge through the courts.
The solidarity group states that the day before the court's session, the Constituent Assembly, dominated by Islamists after the withdrawal of civil (non-Islamist) forces and Christians, rushed a new draft constitution considered to be a blueprint to establish a "theocratic state" and take Egypt centuries back. President Morsi immediately called for a referendum to be held on Dec. 15, ignoring even the mandatory delay needed to have a public discussion on the document. more >>
George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney and Australia's leading Roman Catholic official, has said the Church will cooperate with the government's plan to investigate child sex abuse cases, but maintains that the problem is not exclusive to the church nor as widespread as the media makes it seem.
"Sexual abuse is not confined to the Catholic Church. Tragically, it occurs in families, churches, community groups, schools and other organizations," a joint statement by Australia's leading archbishops said.
"While there were significant problems concerning some dioceses and some religious orders, talk of a systemic problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is ill-founded and inconsistent with the facts," the statement added. more >>
Despite fears by Egypt's Coptic Orthodox church that the country's Muslim Brotherhood majority government will draft a constitution mirroring Islamic Sharia law, the denomination's new pope is encouraging politicians to not ignore Christians.
"The beauty of Egyptian society is the presence of Muslims beside Christians. Diversity is strong and beautiful," said Pope Tawadros II during an interview with Reuters news service earlier this week. Tawadros was appointed last Sunday to replace Pope Shenouda III, who died in March after leading Egypt's Orthodox Christians for four decades.
"If a good constitution is presented in which every person finds himself [represented], there is no doubt Egypt will develop," the pope said. "But if the constitution addresses one part of the community and ignores another it will take society backwards." more >>
Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria, the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for more than 40 years, died on Tuesday, Nov. 6 from heart failure. He was 98.
The Holy Synod announced the news to the Bulgarian people in a statement, noting that Maxim had passed away early Tuesday morning in a hospital in the capital Sofia, where he had been for over a month.
The Associated Press noted that 13 senior clergy of the Holy Synod in Bulgarian will gather first to make funeral arrangements for Maxim, before beginning the search for his official successor, which can take up to four months. more >>
More than 2,400 clergy and community leaders gathered in Cairo, Egypt on Monday for the first time in nearly forty years to elect a new Coptic Christian Pope.
Pope Shenouda III, who died at the age of 88 earlier this year, had been an important part of the lives of the 8 million-plus Christians who live in Egypt, and who have faced many hardships and violence from the majority Muslim population in the past number of years.
With the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in government, Coptics say a new pope is needed to bring some stability and sense of authority for Christians worried about the future. more >>