AFRICA/EGYPT - Controversial message of Patriarch Tawadros against the protests promoted by groups of the Coptic diaspora

Monday, 8 August 2016 oriental churches  


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The message with which Patriarch Tawadros II publicly expressed his opposition to the demonstrations promoted in the US by groups of the Coptic diaspora to protest against recent sectarian violence against Coptic Christian communities in different areas of the Egyptian territory, continue to cause controversy in Egypt and among the Coptic community scattered around the world.
The message, released in early August by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, wanted to represent a clear and authoritative disavowal with regards to the extensive program of demonstration initiatives on the agenda especially in the US, where already in late July Coptic militants had staged a sit-in in front of the White House. In his speech, the Primate of the Orthodox Coptic Church underlined that such events may "cause serious damage to Egypt" and embarrassment among the leaders", to the point of sowing conflict with the civil authorities.
The demonstrations, according to Pope Tawadros, "do not reach any results" but "distort the image of Egypt" both within the borders of the Country and abroad. The Patriarch also stressed that "We, in Egypt, know how to better address our problems and our setbacks", and asked "for the love of Christ" to all groups of the diaspora to put an end to the protest demonstrations which have already been put on the agenda. "The current circumstances" added Pope Tavadros "are very different from those of five or ten years ago, and we cannot continue to deal events in the process of evolution with old methods".
Already at the end of July (see Fides 02/07/2016) environments of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate had warned against possible exploitation, distrusting from organizing demonstrations and public campaigns abroad that could be perceived as attempts of "interference" in the Egyptian internal affairs implemented by organizations and foreign groups. Egyptian writer Michel Fahmy had harshly criticized these events, organized by members of the Egyptian Coptic diaspora, calling them acts of stupidity "or betrayal". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 08/08/2016)