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Author Topic: I love the Copts  (Read 3908 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 28, 2011, 09:38:10 AM »

Dear Coptic Orthodox people,

I am currently at the Holy See of the Apostle Mark, the city of Alexandria, just a few minutes walk from the church, where people were martyred a few months go.

And I just want to say thank you to the Coptic community! I - an EO Christian - have been warmly welcomed as a brother in your churches, or even on the streets, Coptic people I didn't know at all have always been extremely helpful. I also have been hosted by a Coptic gentleman in Cairo for a few days.

I must also say I am impressed by the piety of the people here. I wish every EO who still has prejudices against the OO would just come and see.

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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 09:58:01 AM »


I would agree.  I have yet to meet a Copt I didn't like.

Now, if only we could work out all the theological differences and join ranks, that would be great!!!

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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 10:08:14 AM »

Dear Coptic Orthodox people,

I am currently at the Holy See of the Apostle Mark, the city of Alexandria, just a few minutes walk from the church, where people were martyred a few months go.

And I just want to say thank you to the Coptic community! I - an EO Christian - have been warmly welcomed as a brother in your churches, or even on the streets, Coptic people I didn't know at all have always been extremely helpful. I also have been hosted by a Coptic gentleman in Cairo for a few days.

I must also say I am impressed by the piety of the people here. I wish every EO who still has prejudices against the OO would just come and see.


Every word true.

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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 10:26:28 AM »

Can you take pictures please?
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 10:59:36 AM »

We love you too!!
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 01:37:49 PM »

I have never met a copt personally, but they always sounds very friendly. Maybe I should try visiting the coptic church in Denmark at some point.
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 08:33:33 PM »

I really like Pope Shenouda III.  angel
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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 08:52:24 PM »

Yeah, Copts are great. I've been so lucky to be so warmly received by the small community here in Albuquerque, but then, as you've noticed, that's just how they are. I remember mentioning to a friend from church about some Lebanese Christians I met at the local Lebanese restaurant, and without missing a beat my friend said "Tell them to come to church with us!" I tried to explain, y'know...well, they're Maronites; they go to the Catholic church here. My friend said "See, so they can do better! Invite them to visit us."  Smiley

Even with all the persecutions and troubles the Coptic Church faces, in the hearts of its people it is just too good to not share with everyone. I'm so happy that you get to experience this in Alexandria! (And, yes, jealous, too...heh)  

biro: Next month (November 14) is HH Pope Shenouda III's 40th anniversary. God must really, really like him, too.  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2011, 08:11:29 AM »

Can you take pictures please?

Well, honestly, there isn't so much to see. Taking the tissues with the blood of the martyrs in a photograph would seem indecent to me. Apart from that, Alexandria basically is 20 km along the beach and only goes about 3 km inside the land.
Next to the beach is the Corniche, the main street with 5 lanes in each direction, and right behind that highrise apartment buildings being built extremely close to each other with small streets running between them.
No green spaces or anything. I mean, I do understand everyone wants to live in walking distance to the beach, but this is a bit too much. On the other hand, it is somewhat practical, because the Corniche links all parts of the city, and there are lot of minibusses permanently running on it, which cost just 1 Egyptian Pound (less than 20 US cents).

Islam here is strict and dominant, to the point that it is hard to find a beer. The local  All Muslim women wear the headscarf (hijab), many even veil their faces (niqab). On the beach, they enter the water in clothes or wear the burkini. Only the Islamic concept that the mosque tower should be the highest building is obviously not followed. Compared to the 18 floors building, where I am living on the 15th floor, the neighboring mosque looks quite small.

Local Christians often react to this situation by socializing mostly among themselves, hanging out in churchyards (remember, no parks, gardens or anything).
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2011, 09:39:27 AM »

many even veil their faces (niqab).

Is that a traditional practice in Egypt or part of Saudization of Islam of recent decades?
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2011, 01:05:23 PM »

aw Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 02:15:05 PM »

i think Gorazd meant muslim women. Christian women don't veil their faces at all
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2011, 06:30:33 PM »

I have never met a copt personally, but they always sounds very friendly. Maybe I should try visiting the coptic church in Denmark at some point.

Or Maybe, in Gothenburg, Sweden?!
I hereby extend an invitation for you to visit our small Coptic community in Gothenburg Smiley
There is also a small but growing community of EO here, that is basically composed of native Swedes. They Don't have a church yet nor a priest but I really love their devotion in making Orthodoxy accessible to the Swedes.
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2011, 07:24:50 PM »

Dear Coptic Orthodox people,

I am currently at the Holy See of the Apostle Mark, the city of Alexandria, just a few minutes walk from the church, where people were martyred a few months go.

And I just want to say thank you to the Coptic community! I - an EO Christian - have been warmly welcomed as a brother in your churches, or even on the streets, Coptic people I didn't know at all have always been extremely helpful. I also have been hosted by a Coptic gentleman in Cairo for a few days.

I must also say I am impressed by the piety of the people here. I wish every EO who still has prejudices against the OO would just come and see.




If you're still in Alexandria and have some spare time, try to visit Saint Mary and St. John the beloved church in Gianaclis, it is not far from the Two saints church. I grew up in this church, it was recently renovated, and has some nice Coptic frescoes and icons. What is more interesting is that within the same walls of this church there is a Greek Orthodox church, but unfortunately it's closed most of the time.
I am glad you're enjoying your visit, and God bless you for your kind words Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2011, 07:34:24 PM »

I've only ever met one Copt but I love Copts too.
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2011, 11:56:19 PM »

Yes indeed they are lovely people! only this summer my sister had to go to Cleveland Ohio for college related research work , since there is no Ethiopian orthodox church in there she was looking for a Coptic one and she found St.Mark  but she did not have a car so while wondering what to do about it she started to meet a lot of copts that live in Cleveland. and sure enough they all said you should come to church with us, when she told them she did not drive, one family volunteered to pick her up from her dorm on sundays and even to take her to the sunday school programs. she loved every minute of it she fell in love with the copts made lots of friends and could not stop talking about them to people. at St.Mark's they have one Arabic service and on another chapel right next to the main church there is an English service which I thought was really a wonderful example to all orthodox who must minster to those who come from the old country and for the generation that was born and raised abroad, as well as for those Natives whom the church minsters to in the country she brings the Orthodox Faith to.

and in Egypt my aunt was in there for work related visit one time and my aunt she has a cross tattoo on her hand as the people do back in Ethiopia who are born and raised in the northern part of the country. so while she was shopping around she goes into one shop and the owner sees the cross while she pays for the stuff she bought, and he grabs her hand grinning and pulling his sleeve up he shows her his cross tattoo and says ' christian'  and she says yes i am orthodox christian. he asks her where she is from and she tells him from Ethiopia , and he brings his son and introduces her and asks her to come that night for dinner to his house. she accepts and she goes and had the most edifying experience , in how faithfully they lived, how welcoming and loving they were. as far as she was concerned they were saints and she called it a blessing to be in their house and see the faith lived in such joyful manner.

Glory be to God and His blessing be upon the Copts!
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2011, 12:10:13 AM »

I met some very sweet and humbling Ethiopian ladies in my church. One day after a weekday Liturgy, as they were leaving, I noticed there wasn't any car parked outside for them. It was 90 degree weather, and they were going to walk 10 miles to their house!! After much convincing, they finally agreed to ride with me, but I was just so amazed at their simplicity and humility. They invited me over for some tea and delicious cookies and we had a nice chat.

It was a great blessing, and I'll never forget it Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2011, 12:28:27 AM »

that brings me to think of Abouna Abdelmesih the Ethiopian, who walked from Ethiopia to Egypt to become a monk in one of the monasteries! a true blessing.
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2011, 05:42:21 PM »

I met some very sweet and humbling Ethiopian ladies in my church. One day after a weekday Liturgy, as they were leaving, I noticed there wasn't any car parked outside for them. It was 90 degree weather, and they were going to walk 10 miles to their house!! After much convincing, they finally agreed to ride with me, but I was just so amazed at their simplicity and humility. They invited me over for some tea and delicious cookies and we had a nice chat.

It was a great blessing, and I'll never forget it Smiley

Wow. That is amazing. God bless those ladies.
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« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2011, 06:11:20 PM »

I met some very sweet and humbling Ethiopian ladies in my church. One day after a weekday Liturgy, as they were leaving, I noticed there wasn't any car parked outside for them. It was 90 degree weather, and they were going to walk 10 miles to their house!! After much convincing, they finally agreed to ride with me, but I was just so amazed at their simplicity and humility. They invited me over for some tea and delicious cookies and we had a nice chat.

It was a great blessing, and I'll never forget it Smiley

Excellent.  Smiley angel
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2011, 05:43:45 AM »

If you're still in Alexandria and have some spare time, try to visit Saint Mary and St. John the beloved church in Gianaclis, it is not far from the Two saints church. I grew up in this church, it was recently renovated, and has some nice Coptic frescoes and icons. What is more interesting is that within the same walls of this church there is a Greek Orthodox church, but unfortunately it's closed most of the time.
I am glad you're enjoying your visit, and God bless you for your kind words Smiley

I have visited that place by now. There are not many Greeks left in Egypt, and I heard that the Greek church is also going to be used for Coptic liturgies soon.

Please, everyone pray for the Christians in Egypt, their situation is very hard.
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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2011, 09:37:01 PM »


I would agree.  I have yet to meet a Copt I didn't like.

Now, if only we could work out all the theological differences and join ranks, that would be great!!!


from my understanding THE theological difference was resolved... now its more of the politics... though im not orthodox so i could be wrong. I hope to convert into the British Orthodox Church which is under the coptic patriarchate.
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2011, 09:48:28 PM »

We are blessed to have a lot of Copts in the LA area.  Their strong faith and commitment is admirable.  Though we cannot share communion, I believe there is still a close bond with them.

Occasionally I visit St. Anthony Monastery (the Coptic one), and find it a wonderful place to spend time in silence.
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2011, 02:14:36 PM »

Though we cannot share communion
I thought the Patriarchate of Antioch had allowed the Oriental Orthodox to receive communion?
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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2011, 03:22:25 AM »

not to get all uppity, but i believe you mean the EO antioch, because the OO have a patriarch of Antioch as well  ( which if pushed i will say is more Syriac than any EO patriarch Wink)
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« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2011, 10:13:10 AM »

As it has been explained to me, there is a practice in the Patriarchate in the Middle East to allow OO faithful to receive the Sacraments due to the recent armed conflicts in the region which led to the closure of many churches.  If you look at the number of Christians in the Middle East versus the number of functioning churches, you will see that the ratio is way out of balance.

Metropolitan Philip has routinely told us that this practice is not followed here, and that OO must be properly received in order to receive the Sacraments.


Though we cannot share communion
I thought the Patriarchate of Antioch had allowed the Oriental Orthodox to receive communion?
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« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2011, 03:26:04 PM »

i have been to an antiochian church, and knew i couldn't take communion but it was still really hard, because i was convinced the theology was ok and the Body and Blood of Christ were passing in front of me.
we just need to wait and pray, and keep visiting each others churches to strengthen the ties.

i also have an antiochian friend who often visits my previous coptic church (i recently moved house) and is a bright light for Christian unity.

thanks for this thread, we love u too!
 Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2011, 05:29:52 PM »

I meant EO Antioch, the one FatherGiryus belongs to. But I was quite sure that the agreement of full communion between the two Antiochs states that EO Antioch admits OOs to communion, and vice versa.

Also, Copts commune in EO Alexandria. Every time I take communion here in Alexandria, there also are some Copts who partake of the same chalice as I do. I have never communed in an OO church though, since I always found an EO church where I was staying. If I ever get into a situation of only having an OO church nearby, I'll start to wonder if it's ok for me to take communion there.
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2011, 05:30:09 PM »

officially, intercommunion is only allowed between the syriac orthodox (oriental) and antiochian orthodox (eastern) within syria (maybe in surrounding countries as well, i am not sure).
unofficially, more happens, but technically we should get permission from our bishop before communing in the other family of orthodox churches.
may God give strength and perseverance to our bishops who work hard to address the important theological and historical issue that need to be resolved.
meanwhile we should keep open our ties of fellowship and keep praying.
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« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2011, 06:08:52 PM »

officially, intercommunion is only allowed between the syriac orthodox (oriental) and antiochian orthodox (eastern) within syria (maybe in surrounding countries as well, i am not sure).

Isn't it also allowed between Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox in Egypt? I seem to remember reading somewhere that this was allowed recently due to the number of mixed marriages, but only in Egypt proper. Am I imagining things? (I'm just heading out the door, or else I'd try to track it down, but I'm hoping maybe you or some other Coptic person here has heard about it.)
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« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2011, 06:10:38 PM »

yes, in mixed marriages only (so not for our friend who might want to pop in and take communion coz the theology is sound).
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« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2011, 06:53:09 PM »

We always commune Eritrean OOs at my parish. On top of that, we've recently received a bunch of Eritrean refugees  in my city, and they are all allowed to commune.
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« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2011, 07:19:37 PM »

We always commune Eritrean OOs at my parish. On top of that, we've recently received a bunch of Eritrean refugees  in my city, and they are all allowed to commune.

Your parish's clergy are openly disobedient to their metropolitan's orders?
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« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2011, 08:50:04 PM »

We always commune Eritrean OOs at my parish. On top of that, we've recently received a bunch of Eritrean refugees  in my city, and they are all allowed to commune.

Your parish's clergy are openly disobedient to their metropolitan's orders?
But isnt the Metropolitan's orders against the spirit of the decision of the Patriarchal Synod?
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« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2011, 09:35:13 PM »

Eritreans and Ethiopians are communed in the OCA and Bulgarian churches back home in CA, too, due to the lack of any OO church anywhere in the area. So I'm assuming this is a result of the rapid growth of the Habesha community rather than any open disobedience. Considering that I'm only 29 and I can remember when there weren't any Ethiopians or Eritreans there, I think it is wonderful that the local EO have embraced them as quickly as they have. It's hard to found a church when your community just got big enough to have its own restaurants and community center in the past 15 years of so. The Copts here in Albuquerque have been holding liturgies in a private house for 15 years now, and have just recently (since I got here, 4 months ago) gotten to the point where they are seriously looking at buildings.

Compassion is greater than the law, isn't it?
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« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2011, 09:37:34 PM »

My love and prayers, especially those who are in Egypt.  Kiss Stay strong, brothers and sisters.
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« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2011, 01:40:23 AM »

St. Mary of Egypt and St. Antony, pray for them.
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« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2011, 08:04:31 AM »

We always commune Eritrean OOs at my parish. On top of that, we've recently received a bunch of Eritrean refugees  in my city, and they are all allowed to commune.

Your parish's clergy are openly disobedient to their metropolitan's orders?
But isnt the Metropolitan's orders against the spirit of the decision of the Patriarchal Synod?

Spirit of the Patriarchal Synod? Is that something similar to the spirit of Vatican II? Tongue

I don't know what the Antiochian Synod has decided on the issue but I though that it's the general policy in Orthodoxy in case of disagreements to take the issue to the higher authority and not to take these kind of issues in one's own hands.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 08:05:39 AM by Alpo » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2011, 03:27:23 PM »

officially, intercommunion is only allowed between the syriac orthodox (oriental) and antiochian orthodox (eastern) within syria (maybe in surrounding countries as well, i am not sure).
I would love to get a source on that.

Your parish's clergy are openly disobedient to their metropolitan's orders?
When and where has Met. Philipp ordered not to commune OOs? And if uch an order really exists, does the synod agree with it?

Isn't it also allowed between Coptic Orthodox and Greek Orthodox in Egypt? I seem to remember reading somewhere that this was allowed recently due to the number of mixed marriages, but only in Egypt proper.
I am country in Egypt proper, and even in Alexandria proper, and the agreement says that it is allowed in mixed marriages, and in all other cases, each patriarchate is free decide itself whether it allows someone from the other patriarchate to commune. De facto, the answer seems to be always yes... at least for Copts communing in my EO parish. I can imagine that the Copts would refuse to commune an EO married the second time. As for Copts outside Egypt, I have no idea. Maybe I should ask the Coptic bishop when I'll be back in Germany.
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« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2011, 08:04:26 PM »

Your parish's clergy are openly disobedient to their metropolitan's orders?
When and where has Met. Philipp ordered not to commune OOs? And if uch an order really exists, does the synod agree with it?

Ask the priest! Tongue

Metropolitan Philip has routinely told us ... that OO must be properly received in order to receive the Sacraments.

That is, I have no idea but I trust that an Antiochian priest knows his Metropolitans policies well enough.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 08:06:29 PM by Alpo » Logged
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« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2011, 09:40:29 PM »

From the Clergy Guide of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, page 28:

"2. Who is eligible to be a Communicant?

     a. Only an Orthodox Christian in good standing.

     b. In cases of marital separation, Orthodox Christians should refrain from the Eucharist."


That's it for that section.  The Guides goes on to explain the standards for preparation, etc.  There is no mentioning either way of Oriental Orthodox or Non-Chalcedonians, etc.

So, I think it is pretty clear to everyone what an Orthodox Christian is, and so we follow the instructions we have been given.  What the Archdiocese does vis-à-vis the Patriarchate's policies in the Middle East are between the bishops themselves.  I am quite sure that the Patriarchate knows what goes on in America, and their lack of reaction to our practices should be a clear-enough answer.
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« Reply #41 on: December 02, 2011, 02:28:07 AM »

I have not had the pleasure yet of interacting with local Copts, but I receive their parish bulletin in my email.  I am always impressed by the level of piety and love that I see in their announcements and notices.  Lord have mercy on his people in Egypt!

I have met local Eritrean Christians and they are always so happy when they hear that I am Orthodox.  They are wonderful people.
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« Reply #42 on: December 02, 2011, 08:35:11 AM »

Copts are communed in more than one jurisdiction I know of in the States on a case by case basis as determined by the Bishop.

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« Reply #43 on: December 02, 2011, 08:35:41 AM »

Oh yeah, I was wondering if anyone had made the bumper sticker as well. //:=)
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« Reply #44 on: December 02, 2011, 08:50:22 AM »

Likewise Eastern Orthodox are communed in OO churches, incuding Coptic Orthodox, sometimes on a case by case basis, at other times more generally.

There can be no theological objection since Eastern Orthodox are able to marry Coptic Orthodox in Egypt and commune in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
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