Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, has been awarded the prize of the International Public Foundation of the Unity of Orthodox Nations. The Foundation declared that Pope Tawadros won the prize for his distinguished activity in promoting unity between Orthodox communities, and for fostering Christian values in the community.
Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia presented Pope Tawadros with the prize in a ceremony held in Moscow on Tuesday 23 May.
Pope Tawadros gave a word in which he thanked Patriarch Kirill, the Russian Church, the Foundation, and the Russian people. He extolled on the excellent relations between the Coptic and Russian Churches, and noted the considerable intensification of bilateral contacts after his first visit to Russia in October – November 2014 and his meeting then with Patriarch Kirill.
Pope Tawadros spoke of our modern-day world dominated with materialism while at the same time hungry for love and peace. “We, as a Church, are responsible before God to sow the seeds of love and peace … In Russia,” he said, “ you have a proverb which says: ‘Do good to your friends, they will love you more; do good to your enemies, they will become your friends.”
Using another Russian proverb: ‘The purpose of life is to gain happiness, and this the Lord has willed us to have; whoever looks for it attains God’s will’, Pope Tawadros confirmed that we are all called to uphold a culture of life … and happiness.
He concluded his talk by announcing that he dedicates the prize to the service of the civilizational centre in Egypt’s new administrative capital now under construction, which includes a church and a mosque.
24 May 2017