Dottore Architetto Ashraf Ramelah writes to Coptic Pope
02 Dec 2009
His Holiness Pope Shenuda III, Patriarch and Bishop’s President of the great Alexandria, I am certain that this open letter will meet various disappointments in the Coptic community
I am certain that you will understand that the only reason I write is my concern for the Coptic situation and your relationship to the Church as its leader. I believe that our Lord wanted you to guide his Church. Meanwhile this does not mean that everything you do meets his will.
For some time, I have been observing the Church leaders’ statements on various occasions, and I regret to admit that certain reports were against Copts, the Coptic Church, and overall, against Bible teaching.
In all these years, the reports issued by the Church leaders contradicted the facts about Copts and had the goal to help the regime in painting a nice picture for those outside the country so that it appeared without discrimination against the Copts in Egypt.
His Holiness; I can hear your voice whisper, “Son, the Church must say certain things for the sake of peace and to protect its sons.” The question that comes to mind is how many Copts were killed, or jailed? How many Copts lost their homes and businesses? How many Coptic girls continue to suffer as a result of being kidnapped? How many girls were forced to change their faith? Did the Church’s statements serve to save any Coptic life, home or business? Or more likely, just help Mubarak’s regime to attack the human rights of Copts?
His Holiness; The Lord teaches us to stand against the bad without fear, but now it seems that our Church is trying to please a dictatorial regime instead of standing beside its children. For more than 40 years our Church has been under clear attack. We have never heard any Church strong statement condemning any of those barbaric acts!
The sad reality is that all the years the Church covered up the regime’s acts of oppression and discrimination against Copts it served to discredit any Coptic human rights issues bringing the suffering of Copts to the international body.
All Copts need to hear straight forward answers from church leaders to the following questions:
- Are Copts living under a regime that oppresses and discriminates against them or is the information reported in various websites, local and international news media incorrect and the Coptic in the Diaspora trying with their false information to discredit the great democratic leader ruling the country for the last 28 years?
- Was the government action to massacre more than 600,000 pigs owned by Copts a plan to damage Coptic income and to force more than two millions Copts to go hungry or to change their faith? The massacre of those animals violated basic animal’s rights and basic humanity.
- Did the Church create a list of the kinds of food to be eaten that people have to follow? Christ gives us our freedom and no one can take it away. It is written, “Not that which entereth into the mouth defileth the man; but that which proceedeth out of the mouth, this defileth the man. Matt 15:11.
The statement issued at the time of the pig massacre indicating that Copts do not eat pork meat is an example of political correctness. The Copts have been subject to the political correctness method for more than 1400 years. Furthermore, to make such a statement goes against Christ’s teaching in the following scripture, which says, “Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' anything more is from the evil one.” Matt 5:37. However, we all know that David, Samson, and Solomon were all chosen of God and each made mistakes.
- When are we going to stand up and ask for our rights as Egyptian citizens and not as Christians living in Egypt? It is both basic and elementary that a human being be treated with respect and treat others with respect.
My final concern is related to a strange comment made by Your Holiness when referring to the candidacy of a Copt for president in the upcoming presidential election. You said that it is not good that one from a minority group become president of a majority group.
I would like to mention something you have forgotten, that of the requirements for making a bid for president:
- The candidate must be Egyptian.
- Copts are Egyptian and they never minded being governed by the non-Coptic.
- The President has to be honest and care about his own country.
In the USA the president today is African-American and African-Americans are a minority in America. They are a smaller percentage of US population than the Coptic minority is in Egypt.