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Word By H.G. Bishop Youssef from the Ecumenical Day of Prayer and Solidarity

Word By H.G. Bishop Youssef from the Ecumenical Day of Prayer and Solidarity

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01/04/2011

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Word by H.G.

Bishop Youssef, Bishop of Southern United States
Ecumenical Day of Prayer and Solidarity for Christians Suffering in Egypt New York, New York December 14, 2010 Transcribed by members of www.copticchurch.net

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, One God Amen. We are living now the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. And usually during this season, we remember the story of the burning bush when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. And there is a historical background, which is actually very important and relates to what is going on now in our beloved country, Egypt. The people of God suffered oppression, discrimination, and persecution in the land of Egypt. And they cried and they groaned. And we read in Exodus, Chapter 2 that the Lord heard their groaning and heard their crying. So He appeared to Moses in the burning bush, and we wonder why God appeared in a bush burning with fire. There is a message here: this little bush represents the people of God, and the fire represents the oppression and the persecution and the discrimination. But what happened? God is in the midst of the bush, that¶s why the fire did not consume the bush. God, today, is telling us the same words as He said to Moses: ³I will steal the oppression of my people. I heard their cry. I know their suffering. Now, I will come down to deliver them up and bring them up to a better position and a better place.´ So we find in the story of the burning bush, a message of hope and comfort, that the promise of God, the covenant that He made with our fathers, that he will never leave us or forsake us. God is in the midst of His church. Emmanuel, God is with us. And if God is with us, who can be against us? And the gates of Hades shall never prevail against the church of God. That¶s why today, we pray for the peace of our beloved country, Egypt, and all the countries and all the world. We pray for the justice and we pray that the people who persecute and discriminate against the Christian should be brought to justice and accountability. And we demand that the Christians in Egypt and all other countries, in which they suffer discrimination and persecution, we demand that they should be equally treated. We demand that our beloved father, His Holiness Pope Shenouda the Third, we demand that he should be treated with respect and with honor. And we refuse all false accusations, and we refuse all hostility directed to a faithful and patriotic leader, like his Holiness Pope Shenouda the Third.

We demand that the Christian should be able to worship God, and should be able to apply the law of God in their life. They should be able to build churches. They should be able to live in equality with their brethren in our homeland in our country. And at the end, we trust God. We trust God that He is in our midst, He defends us, and He will give victory to His church, as He told us, ³In the world, you shall suffer tribulations, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world´. Glory be to God forever, Amen.

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