Copts Celebrate First Mass in New Church

MIRNA ABDULAAL
JULY 25, 2018

After seven years of closure of their old church by local authorities due to ‘security reasons’, the Coptic community in the Egyptian village of Kom el – Loufy celebrated the completion of the first phase of building their new church, the Church of Virgin Mary and Martyr Aban, by holding their first ever Mass on Sunday.

Previously, the priest of the Saint Abu Sefein Coptic Orthodox Church near the village of Ezzbet Rafla welcomed the Copts in his church.

Following the closure of the old church, the Copts experienced serious discrimination as two young angry Muslims set fire to four Coptic homes in the village after rumors had spread that one of the houses would be turned into a church.

International Religious Freedom Report for 2017

United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

EGYPT 2017 INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT

Executive Summary
The constitution describes freedom of belief as “absolute” and specifies Islam as the state religion. It also enshrines the principles of sharia as the primary source of legislation, which local lawyers stated creates potential legal ambiguities with regard to the freedom of belief guaranteed in the constitution. The constitution only provides adherents of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism the right to practice their religion freely and to build houses of worship. The government continued not to recognize and restrict Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Bahais. According to multiple sources, authorities continued to detain and physically mistreat former Muslims. Irrespective of religion, authorities also did not apply equal protection to all citizens and sometimes closed churches, in violation of the law, according to multiple sources. Courts charged citizens, including Muslim clerics, with “denigration of religions.” Christians reported discrimination by authorities, especially in rural areas. The government completed rebuilding 78 churches and other church-owned properties which had been destroyed or damaged in mob violence in 2013 and repaired Saints Peter and Paul Church in Cairo after a December 2016 suicide bombing that killed 29 people. It also issued an unprecedented civil marriage license to a Bahai couple with no religious affiliation designated on their national identity card. The government continued its efforts to preserve the nation’s Jewish heritage, including starting work to renovate and protect a historic synagogue in Alexandria. There were incidents of official anti-Semitism and public anti-Semitic statements by Al-Azhar, the country’s primary institution for spreading Islam and defending Islamic doctrine. According to religious leaders, educators, and families, the Ministry of Education made progress in removing language from school textbooks that it said could engender hate toward non-Muslims or promote the view that Islam was superior to other religions. The government-supported Islamic institutions Al-Azhar and Dar al-Ifta, the country’s fatwa issuing authority, continued to debate reforms to Islamic jurisprudence which mandates the death penalty for apostasy from Islam.

World Watch Monitor

After a three-year wait, the Egyptian Coptic families of 20 men beheaded by the so-called Islamic State in Libya in 2015 have finally received their loved ones’ remains.

The leader of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, accompanied by several bishops, priests and deacons, welcomed the 20 coffins at the Cairo airport on Monday evening, 14th May, with prayers and Coptic chants.

Copts receive bodies

The families finally received their loved ones’ remains yesterday. PICTURE: World Watch Monitor

From there the coffins were transported to the village of Al-Our in Minya province, where the Church of the Martyrs of Faith and Homeland, dedicated to the victims, had been inaugurated in February in anticipation of their repatriation.

Egyptian expats participation in presidential elections is historic: Copts for the Homeland

Hend El-Behary

The participation of Egyptians inside and outside the country is a national duty

The president of the General Union of ‘Copts for the Homeland’ Karim Kamal said that the participation of Egyptian expats in the 2018 presidential elections is ‘historic’ and the scene of voters lining up in queues will be recorded in history.

Kamal praised the participation of Egyptians in Gulf countries and the United States saying that the number exceeded all the expectations.

Aldiplomasy

Zubeida appearance reveals lies of BBC correspondent: SIS

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In connection with the statement issued by the State Information Service (SIS) about the BBC documentary report aired and published 23 February 2018 refuting the professional errors and violations as well as allegations it included on the situation in Egypt, especially regarding the “enforced disappearance” of citizen Zubeida, the State Information Services wishes to reiterate a range of issues:

Egypt surpasses SA as top investment spot in Africa – report

BY DESTINY MAN REPORTER

Rand Merchant Bank's report shows that Egypt has displaced South Africa as Africa's leading investment hotspot

Egypt has knocked South Africa from its long-standing top spot regarding investments in Africa, according to Rand Merchant Bank’s latest Where to Invest in Africa report for 2018, released on Monday.

'Britain committed to war against terrorism,' UK minister Burt tells Egypt's FM Shoukry

Shoukry

Egypt's minister of foreign affair Sameh Shoukry "R" and UK's state minister of Middle East and North Africa affairs Alistair Burt (Photo:Egyptian foreign ministry)

Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry met on Thursday in Cairo with Alistair Burt, the UK's minister of state affairs for the Middle East and North Africa, where they discussed the war against terrorism and the latest developments in the Middle East, the Egyptian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Coptic Christian attack: Egypt removes local security chief after ISIS kills 29

ISIS claims responsibility for Egypt bus attack

CAIRO –  Egypt removed the security chief of a province south of Cairo where Islamic State militants last week killed 29 Christians traveling to a remote monastery in the desert, an acknowledgment of the lapses by authorities in dealing with the attack.

According to an Interior Ministry statement late on Monday, Maj-Gen. Faisal Dewidar was transferred from his post and was assigned the position of deputy director of the security forces. It is not clear if the position is in Minya.

Ted Cruz Introduces Bill To Designate Muslim Brotherhood as Terrorist Organization

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), speaks at the Growth and Opportunity Party, at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday October 31, 2015. With just 93 days before the Iowa caucuses Republican hopefuls are trying to shore up support amongst the party. (Photo by

Steve Pope/Getty Images

by JORDAN SCHACHTE

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) are introducing legislation calling for the U.S. government to label the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate said he is introducing the bill to protect against the “violent jihad” carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood affiliates both in the United States and the rest of the world.

Angela Merkel calls for burqa ban, says refugee crisis “must never be repeated”

108 COMMENTS

Angela Merkel has called for a burqa ban in Germany and said the refugee crisis “must never be repeated.”

Is this the same Angela Merkel?

“A situation like the one in the late summer of 2015 cannot, should not and must not be repeated,” she said. “That was and is our, and my, declared political aim.”

angela-merkel74

“Angela Merkel calls for burqa ban ‘wherever legally possible’ in Germany”, by Lizzie Dearden, UK Independent, December 6, 2016:

السودانية المتهمة بـ"الردة": السلطات تغري السجناء المسيحيين بسداد ديونهم

أ. ف. ب.

 

مريم يحيى ابراهيم

 كشفت مريم ابراهيم التي اتهمتها السلطات السودانية بالردة أن إدارة السجون تقدّم إغراءات مالية وتعرض سداد الديون عن المسيحيين المعتقلين مقابل اعتناقهم الإسلام.

تحدثت مريم يحيى ابراهيم السودانية التي حُكم عليها بالاعدام بعد ادانتها بالردة عن الاسلام ، لأول مرة منذ إطلاق سراحها ومغادرتها الى الولايات المتحدة عن محنتها في السجن وإجبارها على إنجاب ابنتها مكبّلة.  

BBC's religion boss: we need more coverage for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs !!!

aaqil.jpg

Aaqil Ahmed wants more religious programming on the BBC BBC

A senior BBC figure wants more shows similar to Songs of Praise which would include coverage that would appeal to people of Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths.

Aaqil Ahmed, commissioning editor of religion and head of religion and ethics at the BBC, told MPs he has written a report answering criticism that non-Christian faiths were under-represented on the programme.

IMF: Egypt overtakes SA as Africa’s second largest economy

Christie Viljoen

South Africa has been known as the continent’s second-largest economy since Nigeria rebased its gross domestic product (GDP) data in early 2014. However, the IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) released in mid-April provided more sobering GDP statistics for South Africa. Not only did the multilateral organisation suggest that the South African economy would grow by a mere 0.6% this year, but also that the country is now only the third-largest economy on the continent behind Nigeria and new silver medalist Egypt.

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Nigeria’s rebasing exercise some two years ago revealed that the oil-dependent economy was almost twice as big as previously thought. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) ensured greater measurement of the informal sector, the inclusion of 46 industries from a previous 33, as well as methodological changes to measuring service sector activity with the rebasing. Backward adjustments to GDP indicated that Nigerian GDP in US dollar terms surpassed its South African equivalent in 2011. By the end of 2015, Nigeria’s GDP was measured at $490 billion compared to South Africa’s estimate of $313 billion.

Conference at the European Parliament on 26 April

European Muslims: radicalisation and de-radicalisation

European Muslims: radicalisation and de-radicalisation

 

  1. How should European Muslims deal with radicalisation and what role can women play in countering it and promoting de-radicalisation? These questions were discussed during a conference at the Parliament on 26 April. Following the opening of the conference by Vice-President Antonio Tajani at 15.00 CET, the phenomenon of radicalisation and how to counter it at national and EU level was assessed with experts and community leaders in attendance.

  2. Speaking ahead of the conference EP President Martin Schulz said: "Terrorism and radicalisation must be fought through prevention, monitoring, intelligence-gathering and updated rules and sanctions. There is one tool however which beats radicalisation before it even takes place.
    "We are increasingly witnessing the phenomenon not just of segregated societies, but of more and more segregated and alienated lives. Dialogue helps cure this sad reality."
    Vice-President Antonio Tajani also highlighted the efforts of Muslims in Europe to end radicalisation: "Many victims of extremist violence and Islamic extremist terrorism are Muslims themselves: we must unite our forces and denounce all forms of violence claiming a religious justification. I am convinced that Muslim communities in Europe and the world share this view. The goal of this conference is to give them a chance to show their opposition to radicalism and hatred."

    UK RAF set for the 'long-haul' against the Islamic State

    A pair of RAF Tornado GR4sapproach RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus on 3 December 2015, after carrying out some of the first British bombing runs over Syria. A senior service official says that the RAF is geared for a protracted mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Source: PA

    The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is confident that it can maintain its current level of operations over Iraq and Syria "for years" if needs be, a senior service official said on 30 March.

    Rights Group Calls on Egypt to Reverse Blasphemy Conviction

    • By HAMZA HENDAWI, ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Human Rights Watch on Monday called on Egypt to drop prison sentences against four Coptic Christian teenagers convicted of blasphemy, an appeal made one day after the justice minister was sacked for saying he would imprison the Prophet Muhammad if he committed a crime, remarks widely seen as blasphemous.

    The teenagers' Feb. 25 conviction was based on a video in which they intended to mock the extremist Islamic State group after its Libyan affiliate beheaded a group of Egyptian Christians last year.

    House panel OKs bill to call Muslim Brotherhood terror group

    WASHINGTON –  The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee has approved legislation calling on the State Department to label the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization.

    Lawmakers voted Wednesday along party lines, 17-10.

    Supporters say if the measure is signed into law, the U.S. would have to deny admittance to individuals who are tied to the Brotherhood but aren't U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals.

    Individuals who provide material support to the group would face criminal penalties.

    Imperial College Healthcare Logo

    New breath test tackles growing rates of oesophageal cancer

    George Hanna

     

    Professor George Hanna Imperial College, London

    Oesophageal cancer affects the pipe that connects the mouth to the top of the stomach. It’s the ninth most common type of cancer in the UK and 8,500 new cases are diagnosed every year. Professor George Hanna is an upper gastrointestinal consultant surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital. He and his team devised a breath test which can diagnose oesophageal cancer quickly and effectively, without the need for an endoscopy. In this, Oesophageal Cancer Awareness Month, Professor Hanna explains why the condition is on the rise and how a simple breath test could help save lives.

    Egyptian four-year-old's life sentence a mistake, military says

    Media captionThe child was convicted of participating in a Muslim Brotherhood protest in early 2014

    An Egyptian military court made a mistake by sentencing a four-year-old boy to life in prison for murder last week, the military has acknowledged.

    Spokesman Col Mohammed Samir said the court should have sentenced a 16-year-old with a similar name instead.

    The High Court of Justice in Cairo (21 January 2016)

    Ahmed Mansour Qurani Ali was convicted along with 115 others in connection with riots by Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Fayoum province in 2014.

    His lawyer had submitted documents proving that he was one at the time.

    Egyptian columnist delivers stinging attack against el-Sissi

    Associated Press 
    By HAMZA HENDAWI5 hours ago
    Egyptian author Ahmed Naji, center background, attends a court hearing in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016.  Naji was sentenced to two years in jail on Saturday by a Cairo appeals court for publishing a sexually explicit excerpt of his novel that prosecutors said violated “public modesty.”  Naji was initially acquitted by another court, but prosecutors appealed the verdict. (AP Photo/Ramy Yaacoub)
    .

    View photo

    Egyptian author Ahmed Naji, center background, attends a court hearing in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Feb. …

    CAIRO (AP) — A prominent columnist on Sunday delivered the harshest attack to date against Egypt's president in the local media, saying that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi presided over a "theocracy" that is no different from the Islamist-led government he overthrew in 2013.

    In a front-page column in the al-Maqal daily, Ibrahim Eissa expressed outrage over a two-year prison sentence issued Saturday against author Ahmed Naji for publishing a sexually explicit excerpt of his novel that prosecutors said violated "public modesty."


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