Egypt (MNN) — In late May, the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) met in Egypt for the very first time since its founding in 1968. The Coptic Orthodox Church hosted the meeting in Cairo.
Mary Joseph, a SAT-7 Communications Officer based in Cairo says, “It was a good thing to see all the leaders gather together in Egypt and discuss things. Maybe they have not reached the solution for every problem ecumenically. But it’s good to see them gathered here after a long time of not gathering. The MEC has not been gathering every year.”
The Egyptian president even addressed the assembly, saying he wanted to spread a culture of diversity and religious freedom in the country.
Violence against Christians
The statement comes after the stabbing of an Egyptian priest in Alexandria, Egypt. Joseph says, “Because it happened during Lent, it had a very special closeness. Lent is a very spiritual time here for Christians in Egypt. And it was very heartbreaking, of course, and there was a lot of indignation on social media.”
This isn’t the first incident of violence against Egyptian Christians, of course. Joseph says, “In 2016, there was a blast at a church in downtown Cairo that killed 29 people and left many disabled and injured. Two of the people killed were my aunt and her daughter.”
Joseph’s surviving cousin was recently invited onto the SAT-7 program Needle and New Thread, where she talked about her journey and her faith. “It was very encouraging for the viewers. Even the crew themselves were telling me (because I’m her cousin) how they were supported by her testimony.”
How to pray
Joseph says the Egyptian Church is facing a lot of division, often fueled by social media. Pray for unity among the believers.
And ask God to unify churches across the Middle East and North Africa.
Header photo courtesy of SAT-7.