Thursday, 4 July 2013

Statement on the current state in Egypt by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom on 4 July 2013

For immediate use
4 July 2013
Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office

Statement on the current state in Egypt by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom on 4 July 2013

What has been seen in the streets of Egypt over the past week would have been considered by many as impossible, especially when set against the backdrop of two years which commenced joyfully, but became increasingly challenging through a state of fragmentation, a failing economy and a weakened state of law and order. This situation deteriorated further when the state of social fragmentation developed into one of complete polarisation, and the hopes that were held for a strengthened economy, a unified people, and an empowered, reborn nation in 2011 were not realised.

With the age old scourge of illiteracy and poverty unaddressed and the development of a cohesive sense of national pride and unity unrealised, the people of Egypt took to the streets to follow their desire for dignity and social justice in the way that proved successful just over two years prior. 

The scenes of rejoicing and jubilation in Egypt’s squares must now be followed by an intentional and proactive programme of reconciliation among all parties.

We feel the pain of those who may consider themselves defeated, and who now fear marginalisation and alienation; sentiments which we as Christians have experienced at times over the centuries in Egypt. That being said however, what is needed now is a way of embracing these valued members of the wider community, as well as every other Egyptian, confirming that the path of reconciliation and unity is the only way ahead. Years of fragmentation, distrust, anger, and resentment, must be healed, and this will only happen when those who are now given the opportunity to lead Egypt, both in the short and long term, make the resolution of these negative experiences a priority and aim to achieve it. 

We pray that no more blood is shed, no more families or communities grieve, no more violence spreads, and that cooperation and collaboration become principle foundations throughout this continuing formative process. The next weeks and months will be crucial, needing the support of every Egyptian and guiding him or her to no longer think in terms of tribes or separation, but rather in terms of unity and collaboration for the good of all. 

We pray for peace and prosperity in Egypt and for every Egyptian, we pray for reconciliation and healing within and between communities, so that no one feels marginalised, victimised or rejected by any part of this greater family. I am confident that the people of Egypt seek, and will find, the peace that embraces all and that welcomes all once again into a joy that can be shared.  


HG Bishop Angaelos on BBCNewsnight 3 July 2013 speaking about the situation in Egypt - click here to watch.