The Egypt Council of Churches marked four years on its establishment with a celebration at All Saints Cathedral in Zamalek, Cairo, on the evening of Thursday 21 September. Participating were the five members who jointly founded the ECC: Pope Tawadros II of Coptic Orthodox Church; Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Ishaq; Rev Dr Andrea Zaki, Head of the Evangelical Community of Egypt; Metropolitan Mounir Hanna, head of the Episcopal Church in Egypt and North Africa; and Metropolitan Nikola of Tanta of Greek Orthodox Church.
Pope Tawadros was warmly received when he arrived. He wrote a message in the guestbook: “Happy to be with you in such brotherly meeting … Glory be to Jesus Christ; ‘Christ’s love binds us’.”
Together with participants, Pope Tawadors listened to the report presented by Fr Rifaat Fathy, Secretary-General of the ECC, reviewing the council’s achievements during the last years, as well as future plans for the upcoming period.
The Church leaders opened the ECC media centre.
Pope Tawadros gave a word in which he spoke of brotherly love. “Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
The ECC and its member Churches, he said, should work to extend love and peace to all, serving all and praying for the Church unity. “We should complement one another,” he said. “We cannot live without integration” and “Do not forget that the Church was One for five centuries; divisions occurred on account of politics, language, and ego.
“Rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed,” (1Peter 4:13).
Pope Tawadros concluded by describing the role of the Egypt Council of Churches as a ‘Peace-Maker’.