A statement on the occasion of the assembly of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church

A statement on the occasion of the assembly of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church
Regular session, Feast of the Pentecost, June 2017 A.D.

Our meeting for this session comes while our country and our church are going through painful circumstances as a result of the consecutive terrorist attacks on our churches and our children all over Egypt.

St. Peter’s church in Cairo, St. George Church in Tanta and St. Mark’s Church in Alexandria have been subject to terrorist bombings, which resulted in the martyrdom and injury of a large number of our church members as well as some policemen.

Also, a number of our sons and daughters have been martyred in Northern Sinai at the hands of evil terrorism, which forced some Christian families to relocate outside the governorate to avoid the imminent danger of terrorism.

A few days ago, another group of our sons and daughters have been murdered by the bullets of treacherous terrorism after being blockaded on the route to St. Samuel the Confessor Monastery in Qalamoun Mountain, Minya Governorate.

As the terrorists failed to make them forsake their faith, they opened fire on them, leaving them between testifying martyrs and injured confessors.

The Holy Synod with all its members, headed by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, while proud of their sons and daughters, especially the children, who withheld to their Most Holy Christ and followed his steps in carrying the cross, express full support to the families of the martyrs and injured and share their pain and sorrow.

We look up with all faith to God, the Controller of all, to pour his solace abundantly in the hurting hearts and touch the injured with His healing touch, to protect his Holy Church and its blessed people, to preserve peace and security in Egypt and to have mercy on its strong and patient people.

We are sure that those pains and tribulations will only increase the Coptic Chruch’s faith in its Most Holy Christ and its Most Holy Faith.

The church will also remain holding strongly to its historic constants in withholding peace of society. Those incidents will only push us in the direction of Christian love to all partners of the nation. We are with no virtue and no use if we don’t love without discrimination, and we are reminded by the call of Jesus Christ “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

In this context, the Holy Synod values the noble stand of the families of the martyrs and injured in all the previous incidents, as a living example of love, forgiveness to the abusers and aggressors “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5: 44)

On the other hand, we would like to confirm that the real Christian loves life and is not afraid of death, he does not deny faith or forsake love, he asks for justice and full citizenship based on the constitution and the laws, but martyrdom, when it comes as a price for withholding faith, is a beloved wish.

We would also like to mention that the Committee of Crisis Management at the Holy Synod has done its role in following up on the injured and transportation of bodies in all martyrdom incidents that have occurred and followed up on covering the needs of the Christian families of Al-Arish, exerting a great effort in coordinating with the relevant authorities.

It has been decided to create a special department at the General Bishopric of Social Services to care for the families of martyrs and confessors, directly supervised by His Holiness, Pope Tawadros II and His Grace, Bishop Youlious, the General Bishop.

While the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox church appreciates the efforts of the national authorities on all levels, we thank all authorities, institutions and persons, inside and outside Egypt, who have helped and supported the sons and daughters of the Church in those dire circumstances.

The Holy Synod has decided to make a comprehensive historic documentation for all those incidents to commemorate our martyrs and injured. The Synod had also decided to consecrate the day of 8 Amshir/15 February of each year (which is the 
Feast of presenting the Lord Christ to the temple
and the memory of the Libya martyrs) to be an annual commemoration of all the contemporary martyrs.

The members of the Holy Synod ascertain that they love and cherish the Coptic Orthodox Church and His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the successor of St. Mark the Apostle, who is considered the symbol of the Father and the Shepherd of whom we are proud and revere.

We would also like to thank the Russian Orthodox Church for bestowing on His Holiness Pope Tawadros II the Award of the International Institution for Unity among Orthodox Peoples in appreciation to his efforts in strengthening love between the churches.

We pray for the peace and growth of God’s one and holy Church and for the protection of our the beloved nation Our Egypt.