July 23, 2008

Egypt's Christian-Muslim Gap Growing Bigger

The divide between Egypt’s Coptic Christian community and the Muslim majority is growing bigger as an increasing number of Christians are cutting ties with Muslim neighbors and turning to the Church for all their social needs.

Many Christians in Egypt are now sending their children to schools run by the Church, letting their children play on all-Christian soccer teams, and moving to all-Christian neighborhoods. The trend is in part a reaction to increased persecution by Muslim extremist groups that have grown in Egypt in recent years.

“When we all go together as Christians on those things (vacations to holy sites), we feel like we’re one,” said Ayad Labid Faleh, a Coptic Christian living in a Christian neighborhood in Cairo, to The Washington Post. “We’re secure, and we’re able to relax,” he said.

But across town in a Muslim neighborhood, a man recalls fondly memories of Christian childhood friends. Now, he said, all the Christians have disappeared from the neighborhood.

"We used to eat together, play together," said Abdul Aziz. "Honestly, I don't understand how it has come to this."

However, Aziz believes it is the Christians who have decided to change the relationship.

"They didn't used to sit to one side like this. They used to mingle. Now their lives are all centered around the church," he said.

"I get the feeling they don't want me to be part of their life. I get the feeling they are being told to be like this," he said. "And it makes me defensive.
By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Jul. 08 2008 07:38 PM EDT

For centuries, Christians and Muslims have lived side-by-side in peace. The Apostle Mark founded the Coptic Church in the 1st century when he brought Christianity to Egypt. Then Muslims brought Islam to Egypt in the 7th century. After several centuries of conversion, Egypt now has a Muslim majority.

Some have pointed to Coptic Pope Shenouda III as the reason for Christian’s growing isolation. Shenouda has installed programs to make the Church more central to the daily lives of Copts.

But Christian solidarity in Egypt is needed given the persecution endured by this community. Christians are discriminated in all areas of society, including economic opportunity to political representation. A Coptic congregation, for instance, needs to get presidential approval, before they can construct a church when Muslims can build a mosque without this special permit.

Moreover, Egypt’s lack of religious freedom was apparent earlier this year in a high-profile court case involving a Christian convert from Islam. The country’s highest court ruled that the convert could not legally change his religion to Christianity because according to sharia (or Islamic law), Islam is the final and most complete religion.

Convert Muhammad Hegazyhad had filed the unprecedented case because his wife was about to give birth to their first child and he wanted his daughter to be openly raised a Christian.

In Egypt, a child’s registered religion is based on the father’s official faith. Therefore, since Hegazy is officially Muslim, his daughter would not be able to enroll in Christian religious classes at school, wed in a church, or attend church services openly without harassment under Egyptian law.

Hegazy and his wife, who is also a convert from Islam, were forced into hiding after filing the case because of numerous death threats. Several of his lawyers also received death threats, forcing some to give up the case.

The Coptic Christian population in Egypt, with an estimated population of six to eight million, is the largest Christian community in the Middle East.

July 19, 2008

Stop it!! Stop it now!!!

Dear brother/sister,
Thank you for seconding my article.
Whether Elias or other rotten politicians, who does not know and care about this historic Church, it is time to say enough is enough. They can/ should no more run the Mekdes from Starbucks. Tell them to stop meddling in Church affairs. Let them oppose the Weyane junta in whatever way they like. Let them carry a gun and join the fields in Gonder or Bale. That is another issue. Here and now is the Church and our religion. How long will we allow them to insult our Church in the name of Weyane? Stop it!! Stop it now!!!

Cher were Yaseman, amen.

July 18, 2008

Leave Our Church Alone

I accidentally stumbled up on an article on Ethiopianreview about the most blessed Abune Qewstos’s visit to Atlanta. It is not a news article to announce his visit, but an arrogant conglomeration of insults which this blessed man never deserve. I was really astonished to what these people in the West are doing?

I should mention a point about the host Ethiopianreview. I know he is a strong opponent of Weyane; Abune Paulos too. I could not understand why he is waging a war against the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. There are two recent articles about the Church, and all of them were deliberately targeted to defame our Church. Who is interested in this?

1. Politicians,

People who lead a failed political system, residues of the communist anti-religion stance, now controlling many of our Churches in Diaspora, at least trying to be a board member, or befriending one, crying in the name of Ethiopia, are killing our Church. These people hate Abune Qewstos and the ideals he stands for.

2. Tehadiso guys like Pastor Melaku, who write whatever they like, and use the forum, like what Elias Kifle is giving, denounce our Church and fathers.

3. The failed bishops, who tried to migrate the Synod to USA. They know they have a failed Cannon and now try to divide the believers.

Watch out guys!!! It is over!!!!

No politics in our Church!!!!

July 14, 2008

የግብጽ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ (ኮፕት) ክርስቲያኖች ኢትዮጵያውያን እንዲረዷቸው ጠየቁ

በግብጽ አክራሪ ሙስሊሞች ግፍ እየተፈጸመባቸው የሚገኙት የግብጽ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ (ኮፕት) ክርስቲያኖች ኢትዮጵያውያን ክርስቲያን ወገኖቻቸው እንዲረዷቸው ጠየቁ፡፡

ዛሬ እሑድ ሐምሌ 6 ቀን 2000 ዓ.ም (ጁላይ 13/2008) በዋሽንግተን ዲሲ የደብረ ሰላም ቅድስት ማርያም ቤተ ክርስቲያን በቀረበው በዚሁ የግብጻውያን ጥሪ መሠረት በተለይም በአክራሪዎቹ ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ እየተፋፋመ የመጣው ጭፍጨፋ ገደብ በማለፉ እና መንግሥታቸው ወንጀለኞቹን ለመቅጣት በሚያሳየው ዳተኝነት የበለጠ በመቸገራቸው የአሜሪካ መንግሥት ችግራቸውን ይመለከትላቸው ዘንድ ጥሪያቸውን ለማሰማት ባዘጋጁት ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ ላይ ኢትዮጵያውያን ወገኖቻቸውም እንዲገኙ ጥሪ አስተላልፈዋል፡፡

ጥሪው ለኢትዮያውያን ክርስቲኖች ግርታን መፍጠሩን ለመረዳት ችለናል፡፡ በዚህ ትውልድ ዘመን ግብጾች እንዲህ ዓይነት ጥያቄ አቅርበው ስለማያውቁ ብዙዎቹ ኢትዮጵያውያን ክርስቲያኖች ምን መልስ ሊሰጡ እንደሚችሉ ሲደናገሩ ተመልክተናል፡፡ አንዳንዶችም በኢየሩሳልም በሚገኘው የዴር ሱልጣን ገዳማችን ላይ ግብጾች የሚያደርስትን በደል በመመልከት ‹‹ይበላቸው፣ የራሳቸው ጉዳይ ነው፤ እኛ ምን አገባን›› ሲሉም ተሰምተዋል፡፡ ይህ ግን ታሪክን አለማወቅ፣ እምነትንም ካለማወቅ የሚመነጭ አስተያየት ነው ማለት ይቻላል፡፡ ግብጻውያን መከራ ላይ በሚወድቁበት ጊዜ ሁሉ ከችግር ይታደጓቸው የነበሩት ኢትዮጵያውያን አባቶቻችን ነበሩ፡፡ ዛሬም ይህ ትውልድ መሣሪያ አንስቶ፣ ፈረሱን ጭኖ፣ ካይሮ ድረስ ለመዝለቅ ባይችል እዚህ ዋይት ሐውስ ፊት ለፊት ሄዶ አጋርነት መግለጽ የሚከብድ መሆን የለበትም፡፡ ድግሞስ ‹‹ነግ በእኔ›› አይደለምን፡፡ ስለዚህ አብረናቸው እንውጣ፣ እንደግፋቸው፣ አምላካችን መከራውን ሁሉ ያቀልላቸው ዘንድ በጸሎት ልንረዳቸው ይገባናል፡፡

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የአቡነ ጳውሎስ "ሐውልተ ስምዕ"

ነጻ ፓትርያርክ ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ ማንን ይመርጡ ነበር? እንበልና ሁሉም ነገር ሥርዓቱን ጠብቆ የተከናወነ የእጩዎች ምርጫ ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ አሁን የምናነሣቸው ጉድለቶች ባይኖሩ ኖሮ፣ 6ኛው ፓትርያርክ እንዲሆን የምትመርጡት ማንን ነበር? (ማሳሰቢያ፦ አሁን ያለው ክፍፍል እና የመንግሥት ተጽዕኖ ባይኖር ኖሮ ተብሎ የሚመለስ ጥያቄ ነው። የምን “ባይኖር ኖሮ ነው” የሚል አስተያየት ካለዎትም እናከብራለን።)