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05 July 2013

Reconciliation the only way ahead in Egypt

Reconciliation the only way ahead in Egypt

Photo: Wikicommons: Morsi addresses media

The Coptic Orthodox Church in UK and Europe has today released a statement on the current state in Egypt.In the statement, the leader of the Egyptian Coptic Church in Britain expresses hope for the future of Egypt after President Mohamed Morsi was removed in a Military Coup.

The statement reflects on the scenes witnessed this week in Egypt, which many would have considered impossible. The people of Egypt were making their voices heard to follow their desire for dignity and social justice in a way that proved successful two years ago in the Arab Spring.

Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, talks about how jubilant scenes must now be followed by intentional reconciliation. He says the situation had become "increasingly challenging through a state of fragmentation, a failing economy and a weakened state of law and order".

"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," Bishop Angaelos said.

"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. "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."

David Landrum, director of advocacy at the Evangelical Alliance, in this week's Friday Night Theology 'Great expectations', said: "No doubt the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood will provide a welcome respite for the suffering Christian population of Egypt, but the country is now deeply and angrily divided, and a spiral of violence seems inevitable.

"Factors such as history, culture, politics, the economy, and religion are all playing their part in this crisis. But, what is also fuelling the turmoil is a palpable sense of disappointment and frustration – a sense that hopes for a better future in Egypt are fading. Proverbs 13:12 says: 'Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.' The result is that the world now is awash with great expectations. The problem is that most governments are seriously limited in their ability or desire to realise them.

"Today, across the world hope is being tested to destruction, and in common with the Arab Spring, a pattern or cycle of discontent seems to be emerging."

Full statement from the General Bishop of the Coptic Church in the UK
Great expectations – Egypt and democracy: FNT by David Landrum.