AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Archbishop Angaelos: martyrs are not "victims" but "witnesses"

Tuesday, 9 July 2019 middle east   oriental churches   martyrs   persecutions   media  

London (Agenzia Fides) - Christian martyrs killed in odium fidei are not "victims" but "witnesses", and media must take seriously the responsibility they have in reporting persecution, because a headline just for a few extra subscriptions can sometimes put lives at risk. These are the key criteria recently mentioned by Anba Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, as a contribution of clarity offered above all to those engaged in information and awareness-raising initiatives for the benefit of Christian communities subjected to bullying, violence and persecution worldwide. The Archbishop included such eloquent considerations in his speech on Thursday 4 July in London, at St Margaret's Church in Westminster Abbey, on the occasion of the annual conference hosted by Embrace the Middle East an inter-denominational Christian charity, a committed Christian organization supporting projects and initiatives in favor of vulnerable people and communities in the Middle East. "When we advocate, it must be about them [the martyrs] and their suffering, not us. We must not patronise the communities there. Let us not export our own visions of who they must be, but honour who they are. We need to listen to them. Labelling martyrs as victims dishonours what they are doing. They don't see themselves as victims, but witnesses. We should recognise their vulnerability, but vulnerability is different to victimhood", the Coptic Archbishop said.
Anba Angaelos challenged media to be responsible in their reporting of persecution, saying: "We are all completely fed by the media. It is important for the media to be responsible in how they report persecution". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 9/7/2019)