Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Where was our Coptic Church's voice during the tragedy of 9/11/2001?

It is not a matter of just making our voice heard loudly and publicly in an incident of the magnitude of the devastating terrorist act in New York. We have to consider all the ramifications of our actions on our beloved Coptic church as a whole.

The easiest thing one can do is to support verbally by displaying anger, words, and arguments. However, these are short-term methods of relieving pain. It should also be further kept in mind that being faithful and supportive to the Coptic Church is a primary goal in order to avoid having devastating effects or backlash on the other innocent and unsuspecting Copts whose authorities may not be fully supportive of their Christian causes.

Detailed documentation has been distributed to Southern Diocese newspaper editors, mayors of cities with diocese churches, governors of states of diocese churches, the US President as well as CNN. It has been a partial oversight as to the National Cathedral representation on National Prayer Day. If you have the address or the contact person who organizes those religious events, I would be happy to follow up with this and to ask for Coptic Representation there as well. The address has not been readily obtainable nor has the contact person.

Priority has been given to our diocese Position Statement regarding terrorism, the purpose of which has been to enlighten others about our Egyptian heritage and its meek, nonviolent nature. The primary documentation goal has been to teach the community at large basic facts about the Coptic Orthodoxy Church, whose motherland is Egypt. Secondly, our public stance against terrorism as evil had to be made known to the surrounding communities. Protection and not representation was a priority, as safety must always come first.

One of the different articles posted on the Southern Diocese Website states our stand against terrorism in no uncertain terms. There is another brief article by His Holiness Pope Shenouda condemning terrorism. In the October issue of the Mighty Arrows, the diocese youth publication, you will find a four-page article on Terrorism. Sermons have been given and unending questions and telephone calls answered regarding our stance on terrorism. As I hear about the events surrounding the massive destruction of September 11 and and its aftermath, and get to know stories about the many families that have suffered the loss of someone they love, I pray to God for justice. I ask for guidance, mercy and help from the Almighty and All Knowing God.

Our wisdom is very limited. I believe that God is infinitely wise and knows more about long-term consequences and plans than we do. Whenever there is a chance to tell others about our beloved Coptic Orthodox Church and its strong and persistent faith, let us not miss that opportunity.

"And will God grant justice to His chosen ones who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long in helping them? I tell you, He will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?"(Luke 18:7-8)

May God bless us all with a persistent and tenacious faith.
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