The Egypt Council of Churches marked two years on its establishment with an event held at the grand hall of the St Mark Cathedral in Abassiya, Cairo, on the evening of Monday 25 May. Participating were Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church; Anba Ibrahim Ishac, Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church; Reverend Dr Andrea Zaky, head of the Evangelical Church in Egypt; Metropolitan Mounir Hanna, head of the Episcopal Church in Egypt and the Horn of Africa; Bishop Nicolas of Tanta on behalf of Pope Theodoros II of the Greek Orthodox Church; and the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Bruno Musaro.
From the Coptic Orthodox Church, a number of bishops attended. Among them were Anba Moussa, Bishop of youth; Anba Danial of Maadi; Anba Marqos of Shubral-Kheima; and Anba Yulius of Old Cairo.
A host of clergy, monks and nuns, and laity form the various sects attended.
The celebration had been scheduled for 28 February 2015 but was put off in mourning for the 20 Egyptian Christians beheaded by the Islamic State (IS) in Libya mid-February.
The event opened by three children delivering welcoming words the attendants in the three languages Arabic, English, and French. The choir of the church of Mar-Morqos in Heliopolis, Cairo, performed a number of hymns.
Father Bishoi Helmy, Secretary-General of the Egypt Council of Churches, opened the event with a full report on the activities of the council throughout the past year.
Words by the heads of Churches followed. Anba Ibrahim Ishac talked about the council as among the important instruments through which Church unity may be attained, and Rev. Zaky stressed the need for all the Churches to work in unison for the benefit of Middle East Christians and the entire community.
Pope Tawadros spoke of the love of Christ “which unites us all in Him, in the Bible,” he said. The council and all its member Churches, he said, should work to extend that love to all, serving all, especially those in the homeland upon whose land and among whose people we live.
As the event drew to a close, Pope Tawadros presented the council’s shield to Rev. Dr Safwat al-Bayadi, honorary head of the Evangelical Church in Egypt. Rev. Bayadi held this post since 1997 until he resigned it last March. His son, Dr Freddie al-Bayadi was there to receive the shield, since Rev. Bayadi was not in Egypt.
26 May 2015