AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic priests "on mission" in cafes and in the streets to proclaim Easter

Thursday, 28 April 2016 local churches

Minya (Agenzia Fides) - In Egypt, Coptic churches - who follow the Julian calendar - are celebrating Holy Week. In view of Easter, greetings and good wishes are expressed to the Copts by representatives of institutions.
Even Ahmed al Tayyeb, great Imam of Al Azhar, went to the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo to personally express his Easter greetings to Orthodox Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II. And in the imminence of the Christian solemnity, also pastoral initiatives flourish in the large North African country: in recent days, some Coptic Orthodox priests of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Minya, Upper Egypt, decided to leave their parishes to go to celebrate moments of prayer in the streets, in cafes and in public places, in order to announce the Passion and the Resurrection of Christ to the many baptized who do not attend churches and sanctuaries even on the occasion of the liturgical solemnities.
The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Minya presented this initiative on its website as an attempt to reach Christians, especially among many young people, who do not usually attend the parishes. "This is an initiative that may seem unusual in a country overwhelmingly Muslim, always threatened by sectarian conflicts" refers to Agenzia Fides Anba Botros Fahim Awad Hanna, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Minya, "and it is obvious that it can be done with freedom and serenity in residential areas and villages only by Christian citizens. But it still represents a sign of apostolic vitality: many young people have no real contact with the life of the Church and its liturgical and sacramental dynamics. So instead of waiting for them in a parish, we gently try to reach them, in places where they live and prefer to spend their time". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 28/04/2016)

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