Thursday, 7 December 2017

Archbishop Angaelos of London delivers address at International Religious Freedom Conference in Washington DC

 Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Communications and Media Office 

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe) 
Communications and Media Office 

Archbishop Angaelos of London delivers address at International Religious Freedom Conference in Washington DC 



7 December 2017 
A three-day conference was held from 4-6 December 2017 in Washington, DC, on the “Persecution of Christians in the Holy Lands and the Middle East: Consequences and Solutions.” The 3rd Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom, sponsored by the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was attended by government officials, human rights activists, academics, and religious leaders, among whom was Archbishop Angaelos of London. Speakers included, among others, an array of Church leaders and representatives, senators, congressmen, advocates, professors, and media personnel. Sessions included the “History of the Christian Church” focusing on the disappearance of Christians from the birthplace of Christianity, “Persecution of Christians and Possible Solutions,” “Freedoms of Religion and the Press,” and “Sacred Sites and Property Rights.”

In his address, Archbishop Angaelos of London spoke about the need to recognise basic human rights that should be afforded to all, saying:
“Life is not a privilege, it is a right. Dignity is not a privilege, it is a right. Existence and tolerance are not an option. We need to raise our expectations so we can offer the persecuted so much more.” ​

Speaking about the extent of religious freedom violations worldwide, the Archbishop went on to stress the need for collaboration: 
“This is an international epidemic and exceeds the ability of any single person, organisation, faith, and even nation state to fix. This needs a collaborative response that brings together policy makers, religious leaders, and civic society, bringing all of our abilities together, all that God gives us, to represent them.”

Addressing members of the Christian Faith directly, he continued: 
“We hear the stories of the saints in our Churches, in our Liturgies every day, but persecution is still happening. It happened on our screens. We saw it before us.”
“Sisters and brothers, this should no longer happen on our watch, because as they are cut, we bleed. As members of the same Body, we need to stop using the language of the ‘Church of the East’ and ‘Church of the West’. There is only one Body for us. It rejoices as one, it mourns as one, it also struggles as one.”

Highlighting the need to safeguard God-given rights and freedoms he said: 
“Under article 18 of the Universal Charter of Human Rights, we are told that everyone shall have a right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. Inalienable rights; rights that no one should take away. God gives us the right to accept or, indeed, to reject Him, so who are we to impose Him on others based on our own ideology? Who is anyone to tell me what to believe and what not to believe? Who is anyone to take away the right that God, God the Omnipotent, has given me?”

Explaining the Christian responsibility to advocate for all, Archbishop Angaelos said: 
“Whether the persecution is against a Coptic Christian, an Orthodox Christian of any sort, a Catholic, an Evangelical, or even a Rohingya, a Baha’i, or a Sufi, this is abhorrent in the eyes of God. God gave us all His image and His likeness equally. He calls us to be advocates for that image and that likeness and for that sanctity of life equally. We cannot stand with any kind of credibility advocating for our own if something happens to my neighbour and I question whether or not I am “my brother’s keeper?” The answer in the Scriptures is ‘of course I am.’ We are not only our brothers’ keepers; we are our brothers’ advocates, and we must never let them suffer alone.”​ 

Lastly he spoke a word to the perpetrators of persecution, reiterating messages of forgiveness spoken of in past addresses and statements: 

“Recently some of you may have heard that I issued a statement after our own brothers and sisters in Egypt were brutally shot. It was a message to the perpetrators saying, ‘You are loved. Your actions are abhorrent and detestable, but you are loved by my God, and by me, and by millions like me, because you have the same nature, image, and likeness as me.’ We pray that God, Who speaks to their hearts, brings them to a place where their eyes are opened and they see the sanctity of life, and turn away from seeing other humans as mere commodities.”
Those who spoke on the same panel as Archbishop Angaelos included, Archbishop Dionysius John Kawak, Archbishop and Patriarchal Vicar, Syriac Orthodox Archdiocese of the Eastern United States, Johny (cq) Messo, president of the World Council of Arameans (Syriacs), Anna Koulouris, Communications Advisor, Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and the Very Reverend Fr. Isaac Crow, Antiochian Orthodox Church. 

Archbishop Angaelos presented gifts of Coptic Orthodox icons to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America, and other members of the conference. 

*Ends* 

For more information please visit: http://conference.archons.org      

For photographs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goarch/with/38860211711/           

For the full address by Archbishop Angaelos visit: Youtube.com/CopticMediaUK            

Key statistic: While about 30 percent of the world’s population identifies as Christian, the International Society for Human Rights notes that 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination are directed at Christians.






Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Press Release: HG Bishop Angaelos enthroned over new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London in historic service in the Coptic Cathedral of Saint George, UK

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
                                   Media and Communications Office

Press Release
HG Bishop Angaelos enthroned over new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London in historic service in the Coptic Cathedral of Saint George, UK

Watch the service via www.BishopAngaelos.org 

21 Nov 2017

On 18 November 2017, His Grace Bishop Angaelos, who has served as General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom since 1999, was enthroned as the first Bishop of the new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London during a historic service in the Coptic Cathedral of Saint George, Hertfordshire. The Enthronement service came a week after HH Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, and the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Proclaimed Bishop Angaelos as the first Diocesan Bishop of London in a service in St Bishoy Monastery Wadi El-Natrun, Egypt.

The vespers service included traditional Coptic prayers, mostly in English, followed by the enthronement of His Grace at the hands of a delegation of visiting Coptic Metropolitans and Bishops. The Instrument of Enthronement, the document outlining the bishop’s appointment and responsibilities, was formally signed by the members of the delegation.


During his address, Bishop Angaelos thanked everyone in attendance, as well as His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, and the late Pope, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. He went on to say:

This is not a day about me, but about this Diocese, it is a birth of a new diocese, the putting together of a new family.

“Today we start a journey together, because a Diocese is a combination of individuals and parishes who bring to this new family their own strengths, while being able to also compensate for one other’s weaknesses. As a diocese I would want us to follow closely in the footsteps of our Lord and in the words of St Cyril of Jerusalem, who says: “Everywhere the Saviour becomes all things to all. To the hungry bread; to the thirsty, water, to the dead, Resurrection, to the sick a physician, to sinners: Redemption.” I do hope that we can work towards trying to accommodate for all.”

“What sets the Church apart from other organisations and institutions is that it is centred on Christ and that we can go to Him in our times of greatest need. It is also the fellowship of the Eucharist, the Body of Christ of which we are all members individually, but Christ remains our Head.”

“Today is a start, and I pray that God continues to support us to pray, work, and journey together. At this time I wish to remember what our Lord instructed His disciples to do in John 13:14, saying that they must begin their ministry by washing one another’s feet, and that it was in that spirit that the ministry of the Gospel is carried out. So I pray and I hope that this ministry is going to be about the washing of feet, mine of yours, and yours of one another’s.”

Towards the end of his address, Bishop Angaelos, removed his cope and proceeded to wash the feet of a number of children in the congregation, signifying his intent to begin his new ministry as a servant with the desire to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

Messages from Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, The Right Honourable Theresa May, Prime Minister, and The Most Revered Archbishop Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, were read during the service. Addresses were given by His Eminence Archbishop Elisey of Sourozh, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain and Ireland, His Eminence Archbishop Mor Athanasius Toma Dawod, Council of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, Archbishop Kevin McDonald Co-Founder & Co-Chair of the Catholic-Oriental Orthodox Regional Forum in the United Kingdom, Billy Kennedy, Leader, Pioneer Network, President of Churches Together in England, His Grace Bishop Suriel, Dean of Saint Athanasius Theological College, Melbourne, Australia, Coptic Orthodox Church, His Grace Bishop Roufail, General Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Serapion of Los Angeles, Council of Bishops of North America, Coptic Orthodox Church, His Eminence Metropolitan Pakhomious, Locum Tenens 2012, Coptic Orthodox Church.


Joining members of the Coptic community at the service were, representatives of the ecumenical and civic life of Britain, various inter-religious guests, and representatives of advocacy organisations.

*Ends*

Photographs will be made available via www.Flickr.com/CopticMedia

Background:

The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, dates back to 10 August 1954 when it commenced its pastoral and liturgical ministry in London. In February 1969, a historic Liturgy was celebrated in London by the then Bishop Shenouda, the late Pope Shenouda III, who encouraged the faithful to hold regular services, which subsequently led to the hiring of St Andrew’s church in Holborn. Copts would gather from across the United Kingdom to pray there until 1978 when, returning to London as Pope Shenouda III, His Holiness consecrated St Mark church in Kensington as the first Coptic Orthodox parish in Europe.        
    
Since then, the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland has become an active member of its respective local, regional and national communities, serving in a variety of ways across the four nations, equipping its faithful to be positively contributing and active members in their local settings. At the core of its pastoral care is a focus on Christian education at every level and an active youth ministry. The Coptic Orthodox Church also serves on a wider level through engaging in a variety of benevolent and advocacy related work.   
          
The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland now has approximately 20,000 faithful across 32 parishes, with the number of these parishes constantly increasing. These have thus far been served by three dioceses: the diocese of Birmingham, the Midlands and its affiliated regions, served by HG Bishop Missael, the Diocese of Scotland, Ireland and North East England, served by HG Bishop Antony, and the Papal Diocese which, prior to His Grace's appointment as Bishop of London, covered London, the South of England and South Wales, in which HG Bishop Angaelos has served as His Holiness the Pope’s delegate since 1999.  
         
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church have now established the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London.  



Friday, 17 November 2017

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme on Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt


Frank Gardner reports from Egypt on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, covering the plight of Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt, including an interview with His Grace Bishop Angaelos, Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London, and the grandfather of Maggie who was killed in a terrorist attack.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09drjpr Video footage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-42020135/coptic-christian-i-forgive-the-people-who-killed-my-granddaughter-maggie 


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Announcement: HG Bishop Angaelos proclaimed Bishop over new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London during historic service in Egypt

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
                                Media and Communications Office

HG Bishop Angaelos proclaimed Bishop over new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London during historic service in Egypt



16 November 2017

On 11 November 2017 His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, and the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Proclaimed His Grace Bishop Angaelos as Bishop of the new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London during a service at St Bishoy Monastery in Wadi-El-Natroun, Egypt.

With the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London, two new dioceses were established: HG Bishop Karass was Proclaimed Bishop of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia, and HG Bishop Marc was Proclaimed as Bishop of Paris and the North of France. 
        
On Sunday 12 November, four monks were consecrated bishops: two monks from Saint Shenouda Monastery in Milan, Fr Giovanni and Fr Antonio, were consecrated as bishops of Mid-Europe and Milan respectively; Fr Seraphim El-Souriani was consecrated as Bishop of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana; and father Pigol Al-Muharraqi was consecrated as Bishop and Abbot of Al-Muharraq Monastery in Assiut.


Bishop Angaelos, formerly the General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, will travel back to England accompanied by a delegation of Metropolitans and Bishops who will formally enthrone him as the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of London during a vespers service in the Coptic Cathedral of Saint George at The Coptic Centre later in the month. 


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Announcement: HG Bishop Angaelos to be enthroned as first Bishop of new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
                                Media and Communications Office

Announcement
HG Bishop Angaelos to be enthroned as first Bishop of new
Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London



31 October 2017

HH Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark, and the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, have decided on the establishment of the new Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London, and to entrust HG Bishop Angaelos as the first Diocesan Bishop of London.
The Proclamation of this new appointment will be made by His Holiness the Pope and the Holy Synod at a service in Cairo on 11 November 2017.
Bishop Angaelos will travel back to England, accompanied by a delegation of Metropolitans and Bishops who will formally enthrone him during a vespers service in the Coptic Cathedral of Saint George at The Coptic Centre later in the month.

*Ends*

Background:

The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, dates back to 10 August 1954 when it commenced its pastoral and liturgical ministry in London. In February 1969, a historic Liturgy was celebrated in London by the then Bishop Shenouda, the late Pope Shenouda III, who encouraged the faithful to hold regular services, which subsequently led to the hiring of St Andrew’s church in Holborn. Copts would gather from across the United Kingdom to pray there until 1978 when, returning to London as Pope Shenouda III, His Holiness consecrated St Mark church in Kensington as the first Coptic Orthodox parish in Europe.   

Since then, the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland has become an active member of its respective local, regional and national communities, serving in a variety of ways across the four nations, equipping its faithful to be positively contributing and active members in their local settings. At the core of its pastoral care is a focus on Christian education at every level and an active youth ministry. The Coptic Orthodox Church also serves on a wider level through engaging in a variety of benevolent and advocacy related work.      

The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland now has approximately 20,000 faithful across 32 parishes, with the number of these parishes constantly increasing. These have thus far been served by three dioceses: the diocese of Birmingham, the Midlands and its affiliated regions, served by HG Bishop Missael, the Diocese of Scotland, Ireland and North East England, served by HG Bishop Antony, and the Papal Diocese covering London, the South of England and South Wales, in which HG Bishop Angaelos has served as His Holiness the Pope’s delegate since 1999.  

His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church have now decided to establish the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of London.



Friday, 20 October 2017

Report: At annual Coptic Nayrouz Service, HG Bishop Angaelos addresses religious freedom violations around the world

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
                                   Media and Communications Office


REPORT


At annual Coptic New Year celebration,
HG Bishop Angaelos addresses religious freedom violations around the world

 [View photographs from the service via www.Flickr.com/CopticMedia]


19 October 2017  

On 17 October 2017, messages from Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, the Prime Minister and the Archbishop of Canterbury, were read at the Coptic New Year (Nayrouz) Service held annually in St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey.

Addresses were also delivered by Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, The Lord Alton of Liverpool, The Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales and The Right Honourable Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and Minister of State for International Development.

A welcome was given by The Reverend Canon Jane Sinclair, Canon of Westminster & Rector of St Margaret’s, and the service was officiated by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom.

In his sermon, which focused on the prospect of new beginnings, Bishop Angaelos said:
“As we celebrate the lives of the faithful, we have a chance to start afresh, and to look at any opportunity for a new beginning of any sort.
It is important for us to do two things at this juncture: to look, assess, and repeat the wonderful things that have been done, and to look at what may have been left undone; things that may have gone unrealised, unchecked, and unaddressed.”

His Grace went on to say:
“In light of Matthew chapter 9, it is far too easy to attempt to merely patch over issues when they seem too complex to address. We must change our approach and address root causes. This applies of course to us as individuals, as societies, religious institutions, and nations.”

Touching on matters of religious persecution around the world, His Grace said:
“Over these past months, we have seen so much in terms of religious persecution, whether it be in relation to the Coptic Christians in Egypt, Christians in the Middle East, the wider Africa, or around the world, people suffer daily.
Gatherings like this that we take as a simple right, are an impossible and unrealised privilege for some in our world today. So this evening we remember and pray for them, realising that it is important for us to support those who want to believe, whatever their belief is!”

Speaking of religious freedom more generally, he said:
“If God respects humanity enough to empower us all with a freedom of choice, who are we to decide who has the right to believe or not believe?
The Christian message has as its ultimate strength, the ability with which it can consciously and actively love and even forgive those who not only persecute, but kill us. That is what sets this apart. It is not because we are better than anyone else but because it is what we are called to do.” 

Highlighting the diverse nature of British society, he went on to say:
“The gathering in this church this evening resembles the beautiful mosaic that is British life; from religious leaders to political leaders, social activists and human rights defenders, to members of the general public, we all work together. Together we should use whatever platform or gift we have to further this message.

It is a tragedy if we feel there is nothing we can do, because the reality is that there is never a darkness that cannot be broken by the slightest light, and there is never a problem that cannot be addressed even if not fully resolved.”

Closing with a message of hope, from the book of Isaiah 43:19, he concluded:
“Today we can be confident that God will always be our Way along even the loneliest of journeys, and He will always be the spring of life in the most oppressive drought.”

In his address, Lord Bourne spoke of the engagement of the Coptic Orthodox community in the United Kingdom, highlighting various ministries including youth work, and homeless ministries.

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, who recently celebrated the Jewish New Year, said the following in his address:
“I stand here, a Rabbi from the Jewish community from a fellow faith, in solidarity…

…Therefore in these painful and frightening times when so many of these relationships are ruptured and require our urgent and prolonged keen attention we must remember our purpose here on earth, and together articulate our shared faith, hopes and tasks, not just in our places of prayer but in the public square and in the media. Together we must act for the well-being of every individual human for we all carry God’s sacred spirit and all in a differing, unique and special way.”

The Lord Alton of Liverpool spoke of religious freedom violations, calling for the same rights for all, saying:
“As Bishop Angaelos reminded us earlier, [religious freedom] is not just something we demand for the Coptic community but for all…

…In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in Article 18 it spells out the right of every human being on this planet to believe, not to believe, or to change their belief. Well it is with this in mind that we gather here tonight to show our solidarity with an ancient Church, which plays both an integral part of Egyptian life but also a much loved part of British life and society.

It is because of the power of the Cross, not knives and guns and bombs, that we gather here tonight. It is for that reason, despite tragedy and sadness that we can commemorate and celebrate the new year and commit ourselves to continue to work for values based on mutual respect, co-existence and freedom of religion or belief.”

The Right Honourable Alistair Burt MP, spoke of the beauty and diversity of the Middle East and the people of all faiths within its region, while also highlighting the struggles faced by many within it, saying:
“There are many joys in returning to the role of Minister for the Middle East, to share a bit of time in the region I have come to love and to value its diversity and culture, the things that are not often spoken of in the news; to share as a person of faith the opportunity to listen to the sounds of the Middle East, in mosque, in synagogue and in church and to recognise that the ear picks up much that is similar between the sounds of those of those who worship, to recognise a common humanity in its spirituality searching and reaching out for God.”

Going on to speak about the powerful impact of forgiveness, and human compassion shared by people of all faiths in the midst of persecution, he concluded:
“…As we celebrate Naryouz with you, and we remember the martyrs, we reflect on what you have said for a new opportunity that we have, let it be a new opportunity not just for the region but for the world to reflect a bit more, to build dialogue, to end the conflicts between faiths, so that as we gather year by year we will have less to regret, and forgive and more to celebrate and be joyful about.”

Joining members of the Coptic community at the service were international royalty, members of the House of Lords, the Office of the Prime Minister, House of Commons, the Foreign Commonwealth Office, the Diplomatic Corps, the Home Office, humanitarian and advocacy organisations, and various ecumenical, and inter-religious guests.

*Ends*


 View photographs from the service via www.Flickr.com/CopticMedia

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos regarding the brutal murder of Coptic Orthodox priest Fr Samaan in Cairo

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
                                Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox priest brutally murdered in Cairo
Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom
12 October 2017  

Another day in Egypt with another Coptic Christian murdered; this time a priest from Beni Suef, Upper Egypt, who was in Cairo collecting humanitarian aid for vulnerable members of his parish. Fr Samaan was paying a pastoral visit to a family in Cairo and returned to the church where he was earlier to collect his mobile phone. On the way, he was attacked by a knife-wielding assailant who chased him, stabbed him repeatedly, and then brutally killed him.

This incident makes us once again ask so many questions. Why should a priest not be able to walk safely down a street, especially a suburban street in Cairo? Why should he be chased by a man brandishing a deadly weapon and have no one run to his aid; in actual fact, everyone was running away. Why, when he lay drenched in his own blood did the ambulance service not arrive for over an hour, and then not treat him? Why, when the police finally arrived, and he lay dead, was a crime scene not secured and forensic evidence not collected to enable a robust and serious investigation? Why is his assailant immediately deemed mentally incapable without professional diagnosis, and why, if he is incapable, and a known violent criminal, is he left in the community with weapons within his reach? 

After the initial shock and the immense sadness, today is a day that brings anger and I am not apologetic for that anger. I would be just as angry if this was any other person being dealt with in this way, in any other part of Egypt or indeed any other part of the world. Yet he is a Christian, a Coptic Christian, and a Coptic priest, which makes it all the more close and all the more painful.

Just this week I have been with a Coptic delegation from Cairo seeking grants to serve not only the Coptic community but the wider Egyptian community. Grants that would cover health, education and poverty eradication. Where was this wider Egyptian community however when Father Samaan ran terrified through a street being chased by a violent criminal, and where was it when he lay dying and alone? Where was it when the assailant attacked him repeatedly, and where will it be while his family and congregation grieve the loss of their father, husband, brother, pastor and friend? These are questions that need to be addressed at every level of Egyptian community and leadership.

Crime cannot be totally eradicated, but at least it needs to be properly investigated, prosecuted, and shown to be a violation against the whole state and not just its immediate victim.

The immense pain of this incident and all that have preceded it, including: child kidnapping, forced conversion, individual targetting, bus attacks and church bombings against the Coptic Orthodox community in Egypt, leads us to hold more strongly onto the words of our Lord God in Exodus 3:7: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry…for I know their sorrows.” Coptic Christians who have endured injustice, persecution, and loss of life for centuries without retaliation, repeatedly forgiving unconditionally, deserve to live with respect and dignity in their indigenous homeland.

While recognising that anger may often open a path to hatred or resentment, there are times at which it is a natural expression of a human emotion, and reaction to a sense of deep injustice. I am sure that I am not alone in my anger, but that it is shared by every law-abiding person of any belief and indeed of none, who has witnessed this vicious and inhumane attack. In the midst of this anger and this sadness however I continue to pray. I pray repose for Father Samaan, I pray for his family, I pray for his community. I pray for the wider Egyptian Christian community that feels more and more vulnerable and targeted daily against a backdrop of negligence and injustice. I pray for the wider Egyptian society, that becomes more and more discredited and compromised as these incidents continue to happen.

This anger is not void of forgiveness, but cries out for accountability and justice. 

*Ends*


For more information please e-mail the Director of Communications via Media@CopticCentre.com

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Press Release: HG Bishop Angaelos, new President of Bible Society

Coptic Orthodox Church UK

Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
Media and Communications Office



Press Release: HG Bishop Angaelos, new President of Bible Society


His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, became the new President of Bible Society on 21 September 2017, taking over from Dr Richard Chartres, former Bishop of London, who is retiring after 6 years as our President.

Commenting on his new role, Bishop Angaelos said: 

"I consider it an incredible honour to serve as President of the Bible Society, an institution that has historically served to share the message of hope through the word of God. As I embark on this new journey with colleagues from, and supporters of, the Bible Society, I also recognise the immense contribution of my dear brother and friend, His Grace Bishop Richard Chartres. 

This is a time in which Britain, and our world, needs the hope that can only come from the inspired message of God in the Scriptures, and it is up to us to be a faithful conduit of this life-giving message. I am sincerely committed to the ecumenical life of the Church because I believe in it, and there is nothing that can unite us more than Scripture as we endeavour to be the Body of Christ, and light in the world."

Bible Society’s Chief Executive, Paul Williams, said: 

‘We are profoundly grateful to Richard Chartres for his outstanding service over the past six years.'

He said: 'Bishop Angaelos, and the Coptic Orthodox Church which he represents in the UK, models a deep, prayerful spirituality that is characterised by its attentiveness to Scripture. The love for the Bible that is demonstrated day by day, in all of life, and in the midst of considerable hardship and suffering by Coptic Christians, is a challenge and inspiration for us all.

'With his passion for the work of the church here, particularly amongst young people and the marginalised, and his connection with an ancient Christian community that has suffered throughout its history for its loyalty to Jesus Christ, Bishop Angaelos is perfectly placed to share and promote the vision of Bible Society as it moves into the new work God has for the organisation both at home and abroad.’


For the full press release visit Bible Society's webiste via: http://bit.ly/2fD1a2Y

Friday, 8 September 2017

Rohingya Crisis: Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom

Coptic Orthodox Church UK
Media and Communications Office

Coptic Orthodox Church (Europe)
                                Media and Communications Office

The Rohingya Crisis
Statement by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom

8 September 2017 

Chilling reports are emerging of the murder, rape and massacre of the Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar, and these are a cause for great alarm and concern. 

According to those reports, well over 250,000 women, men and children within the Rohingya community have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh in the past two weeks as a result of violence and conflict. Sources state that Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship in their country, and the persecution they face is not new, but has been occurring for years.            

This disturbing news falls on the all too familiar backdrop of the ongoing refugee crisis which continues to plague millions of people fleeing religious persecution, violence and turmoil in the Middle East, as well as the countless people in places such as Nigeria, Sudan, North Korea and others, who face religious persecution on a daily basis as part of their daily existence.  

As an international community, we must never remain silent in the face of the suffering of those whose basic God-given rights and freedoms are denied, even if those people are thousands of miles away. What is unfortunate, is that these issues often remain in our minds only as long as they frequent our news feeds, and yet the suffering continues whether we acknowledge it or not. In the case of the Rohingya Muslims and the Kachin Christians in Burma, it seems that this situation is ongoing, and by no means recent, but has only made international headlines due to the heightened level of violence and suffering. 

All human suffering is worthy of our attention, and should not be ignored until it is unbearable or seemingly intolerable. In Scripture, Christians are instructed to “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Psalm 82:3), a task that is ever more needed not just oversees, but often in our immediate families and communities. 


We pray for the safety of all who flee conflict in our world today, for the Rohingya Muslim community as they flee their home country, and for those who seek to find ways to accommodate them and others seeking refuge from persecution around the world. We also pray for governments and all in authority to adhere to and safeguard the basic principles of human rights and freedoms that God has bestowed upon us and entrusted us with, and that our humanity has prided itself on for generations.