Pope in a mosque

So Pope Tawadros went into a mosque yesterday. What is left now? A synagogue of the Jews, a Buddha temple of the Buddhists, a protestant gathering for the protestants, however many thousand sects there is, a Jehovah's witnesses gathering, and of course not forgetting a nightclub or a bar or both for the atheists.
What happened to principles? More importantly what happened to the teachings of the Bible? I personally didn't mind this when I was younger as my family didn't mind me going into a mosque after playing street football to wash up and drink water. Of course you can imagine the look on the face of my father of confession when I had mentioned it in passing! He didn't even utter a word or feel the need to, he just darted me with that look..
Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ


  • edited January 2019
  • What was the purpose of the Pope going into the mosque?
  • @Joshuaa, I guess he was greeting the Muslim folk for the new mosque built and he was invited to give a speech!
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • The same purpose el-Sisi goes to a church. Politics.
  • Good point @ItalianCoptic but is it for politics that we betray our faith? Of course we know why some people view politics as being the satan released from captivity to mislead God's people before the second coming..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • I am still waiting for a decent reason why is it problematic or even disallowed for the Pope, or anyone Christian, to enter a mosque or any other place of worship?
  • Hi @minatasgeel
    I guess you know St Paul's teachings and commandments by other apostles too let alone the Old Testament. Please let me know if you want me to highlight to you what these are, I'd be happy to, but I am sure you don't need it..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • Please share the exact verses refrences.
  • Thanks @minatasgeel, I will do that later of course from the computer..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • edited January 2019
    Message 1/3

    Hi @minatasgeel and all,
    I managed to be on the computer, so there you go:

    Deuteronomy 7:2 - "and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you to defeat them, then you must completely destroy them. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy."
    1 Kings 11:2 - "from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, "You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.""
  • edited January 2019
    Message 2/3

    1 Corinthians 3:16-17 - "Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple."
    2 Corinthians 6:14-16 - "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership can righteousness have with wickedness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”"
    Galatians 2:20-21 - "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. I do not set aside the grace of God. For if righteousness comes through the Law, Christ died for nothing.”"

  • Message 3/3

    All the above verses have been copied from www.biblehub.com; you can find many interesting cross-references too. 
    Oujai qen P[c
  • Thank you for providing these.

    Now, please provide Church fathers (forefather or contemporary ones) interpretations for these verses that support what you said. After all, we are the orthodox Church...
  • Thanks @minatasgeel,
    I hope you have not assumed that I looked these up on a whim; my understanding is you can read Arabic, so please search www.st-takla.org and you will find a huge number of resources..
    Oujai qen P[c
  • I do. But i really dislike st-takla.org--they think that having a lot of text there without editing it or organizing it in a way easier for the user to read is good enough...i don't agree.

    But how about this, of all those verses, choose between 5-10, and post their interpretation here. you can copy and paste the text, or add snapshot. 
  • Hi Mina,

    "If any clergymen, or laymen, enter [emphasis mine] a synagogue of Jews, or of heretics, to pray, let him be both deposed and excommunicated." - Canon 65 of the Holy Apostles  

    "Let any Bishop, or Presbyter, or deacon that merely joins in prayer with heretics be suspended, but if he had permitted them to perform any service as Clergymen, let him be deposed." Canon 45 of the Holy Apostles  

    The fathers forbid entering the synagogue of the Jews. I would suspect this applies to all unbelievers, given the chronological emergence of Islam. It is clearly forbidden as is clear from a quick search as above. Nevertheless, someone will inevitably raise the question of economia.

    So long as no prayer is offered (wherein he would be an idolater) it seems to me that the current political climate near-demands it ... Begging the question of the Patriarch's involvement in politics at all (welcome to Tasbeha.org; where this question is raised hourly.)

    I won't comment my opinion. Not yet at least.

    John Tavares is a Maple Leaf,


  • edited January 2019
    Hi @ReturnOrthodoxy,

    It's always good to hear from you.

    So we moved to fathers' canons...which is more debatable actually. Your assumption may not be correct since every word of that canon right there may only interpreted in context of the time and the place it was written. The Jews were unfaithful, but they were not considered heretics...while heretics were the ones that at some point of time faithful, but have strayed from orthodoxy. Also don't forget, the holy Synod has every right and authority to make changes to those canons. 

    All of canons depend on context and you need scholars to actually interpret them for us today too.

    Most of the clergy now do consider the context of being in prayer or not...all is done in consideration of each human being's free will to believe or not. In other words, what we are mostly seeing now, in my humble opinion, is the implementation of the statement "Love the sinner but hate the sin" or "Love your God, and love your neighbor." Because there must be a way for you to fulfill all those commands together. I am simply seeing the fulfillment of all these commands more in what the Patriarch and the clergy now do. In fact, whenever some incident take place, like the killing of Copts or something, and then the Church says, "we do not want anyone coming to congratulate us for the feast", I think that's the exception to the rule and I would go as far as saying that it's the unchristian thing to do....this gets into a whole other problem thoo, so let's not. 

    Now, about the actions taken by the Pope concerning politics, you really have to consider context and you have to consider the whole picture. But most of the time, because people have certain agendas, they concentrate on something specific to help their argument, and ignore everything else. And we can discuss specifics if you want.
  • "I hope you have not assumed that I looked these up on a whim"

    It quite seems like you did. Literally almost none of the verses you posted had anything to do with anything, maybe you should take your own advice and go read St Takla. To even apply them to this situation is really scraping the bottom of the barrel for any verses that just have some sort of word in common with the topic at hand. I deleted my other comment because it was unnecessary and rude, but this is really getting ridiculous. The amount of arrogance recently on these forums is just astounding. The amount of the supposedly "learned" and knowledgeable people on this site who have been criticizing almost anything and finding something wrong in literally everything the synod does is getting frustrating to see. Normally I'd just stop coming to this site and reading your nonsense but as this is probably the largest and most popular english coptic site, you're unfortunately the most accessible coptic opinions to outsiders. Good on you making them doubt the authority of its clergy from before they even come into the faith. Hopefully they can look past all this nonsense. If you're finding something wrong with pretty much everything the synod does then chances are theres something wrong with you. Like this really beyond ridiculous, grow up and wake up and show some respect. What a shame too, some of the posts are great but when it gets diluted with this crap its unbearable. You have an issue with what they're doing take it up with your bishop, its not rocket science. This didnt even start out as a discussion, your first post is a written condemnation of HH the patriarch, who do you think you are? So don't hide behind the excuse that this is just a discussion and back and forth of ideas, no, its just downright judgement and disrespect. Learn to speak properly and show some respect.
  • Dear @Amdah,
    Thank you very much for your post. Please do search for the theme "شركة المؤمنين مع غير المؤمنين" on st-takla.org, which translates to "communion of the faithful with the unfaithful" and you will find many resources from which I extracted the verses above. Admittedly I have not searched in English and I certainly don't know how many books, or resources are already translated in English.
    Concerning your second point, thank you for pointing out that I have problems. I actually know this, and as you exactly said my issues drove me to make the post in the first place. I will certainly be taking your advice more carefully from now on and think seriously about posting anything against the pope or the synod and if you find me having deviated again, by all means please let me know I did, even by a private message..
    Dear @minatasgeel,
    Please note that after Christ gave the commandment of loving God and the neighbour he warned his disciples against hypocrisy.. Let's be careful not to compromise on our principles and teachings in the name of loving our neighbours, leading to the demise of the Coptic church (something which has happened to other denominations)..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • I do apologize for not messaging you privately first, you are right. I also apologize for coming across too aggressively. I would like to say that I do benefit from many of your posts here, and i will look into شركة المؤمنين مع غير المؤمنين
  • Hi Mina, 

    I don't disagree with you. Hence my reservation to making a judgement, and preference to remain silent given the importance of economia in the interpretation of the canons. 

    Love you and miss you, 

  • Thanks a lot dear @Amdah, no apology needed at all.. I benefited from your comments, so I thank you for something that you should not apologise for having said.. Psychologically speaking you hit the nail on the head and I totally agree.. I just hope I take God as my example who never shied away from making strict judgments, some of which may have, or may now sound illogical, disrespectful, nonsensical and dare I say divisive even to the very disciples that He chose. He stayed true to His position and words in the face of the majority and of course all the Jewish religious authorities and both the Roman and Jewish political figures.. Indeed, He said it Himself, He came to divide rather than unite.. That's why we should cherish our Christianity, that no one is immune to wrongdoing (as opposed to sinning, of course not my subject) or criticism..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • Dear @Amdah I can see your point of criticism @Ophadece" post saying his quotes of verses had nothing to do with anything. I would disagree to a certain extent because they are about becoming corrupted by entering into like foreign elements when it probably is advisable to stay away. The church deals which fears and given resent events where the church has being attacked and people killed and extreme Islamit's wanting the Pope assassinated. If the more moderate Muslims invite our Pope to their mosque, then this is a good thing and charitable on the part of the Muslim in Egypt.
    I also understand there is disagreement and we can show principles where the church has nothing to do with politics, Islam, protestants and the like but the reality is the world is becoming a harder place, but there is no reason that we cannot still stick to our principles and let the Pope do what he must do. I know it sounds hypocritical, but that's the burdon the Pope has taken on but for us it's like don't try this at home.
    There is something traditional about it as well when Muslim and Christian would live side by side in an integrated society, abeit the persecutions.
    Islam has an internal struggle which our church could be hurt and if we feel more protected or safer by the majority of Islam , then why not take it if offered? We can still keep our integrity and not become corrupted or give over to anything because it is just fear at this stage with no evidence to the contrary that we are becoming corrupted in our faith. Meaning just because the Pope has visted a mosque doesn't mean the church has lost one bit of faith.
    It's interesting Mina spoke about St Paul, because he went into all the places that were hostile to the faith and came out converting wherever he went.
    God preserve our faith.
  • Dear @Joshuaa,
    All your comments are great, and generally agree with what I said before; many thanks for elaborating on them so nicely. However, let me be clear, because I didn't want someone to compare apples to oranges. St Paul went into Greek temples, Christ entered Samaria, and homes of other people including his wish to go to a centurion's, but we are not talking about preaching here. The pope wasn't preaching, nor acting for the sake of glorifying Christ. Take whatever spiritual message you would take from what he did, but for me he did the opposite. He went there for political reasons, and that makes Christianity equal to islam.. well, no it is not.. I am sorry I even wrote those words.. 
    Oujai qen `P[c
  • You are correct @Ophadece in regards to Islam being religion and state connected. It always was and always will be and I think it does put us in a polarizing position when previously the church had nothing to do with the earthly politics.
    The Pope has taken on something that could come back to haunt us as politics is a competition which is winner/loser and in this case how law us interpreted within Islam. It was in danger with the Muslim brotherhood of being extreme and for now it is moderate. But what I'm saying is it may be a good thing that we have good relationship with the moderates as it does away with fears and that it is not good to still be isolated within the country.
  • @ophadece

    "Please note that after Christ gave the commandment of loving God and the neighbour he warned his disciples against hypocrisy.. Let's be careful not to compromise on our principles and teachings in the name of loving our neighbours, leading to the demise of the Coptic church (something which has happened to other denominations).."

    I am not sure what statement are you trying to make. Our Christian principles DO NOT include being isolated or asking for special treatment among the nations of the people. In fact, we are promised the opposite--to live as the minority, yet we are the chosen by God. But it is also our duty to not alienate others from Him whom we believe in, and His light to be spread on others, through love...love that doesn't require others to be FORCED to have the same faith as us to receive it. Now that's hypocrisy...because we want to be left alone, to practice what we want, while not allowing others to do so, indirectly. 


    "It's interesting Mina spoke about St Paul, because he went into all the places that were hostile to the faith and came out converting wherever he went."

    Interesting in what sense?

  • Hi @minatasgeel
    You may have misunderstood my point. A lot of the time I log in to the website through the mobile and it is not easy to expand on my thoughts easily so I am sorry for that.. At no point ever have I or do I intimate isolation. I don't think anyone would be confused as to what the role of a Christian is. Exactly as you said to live as a minority, content with being persecuted from whatever outward forces there are, be it spiritual, political, or corporeal. You are right through love, we love the people, emit light and thereby preach the way of our Lord. That never means to compromise and undermine our status in the name of political correctness. What would have happened if God was politically correct? He faced pilate telling him that he never had any authority! We all know how He faced up to the chief priests! We all know how St Paul reacted to the hypocrite Jews. You see Mina, you know me quite well and part of me thanks God that I have not spoken about Anton Ayad and his multi-faith exhibits, or broadcasting the muslim prayers on Christian channels, or preparing "mawayed rahman" in the cathedral, or of course applauding political figures inside the church and uttering descriptions that are best not to be mentioned.. Anyway, we should know that He redeemed us with a very dear price and we should live above the realms of this world.. Finally if I were pope ophadece I would have done hundred times worse, and no I am not being humble.. I have another reason..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • I meant interesting as in precedence of St Paul declaring the gospel that the Christ or messiah has come to spread His light. Even though the world knows of Him now there is still the possibility that His light may fall upon those of a different religion.
    You made a great comment when you brought him up Mina and I said interesting because I wanted that avenue explored more.
  • @Joshuaa

    aha. ok. But, if by "i wanted that avenue explored more" you mean 'go out and evangelize in such a way, then i would disagree. Just because i don't believe that this is the goal of the clergy being welcoming and loving to everyone, including those that do curse us and turn around and stab us in the back. Like you said, Christ is already known everywhere. The only thing that can change people's hearts now is allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us through our actions and behavior towards those people....not necessarily by words or as aggressive as Saint Paul. 
  • I totally agree the Holy Spirit working within us shown by our faith reflected in our actions is what is adhered too.
    I don't like the protestant (especially American protestant) way of evangelizing.
    The Americans are driven by markets and the Christianity seems like they are trying to sell something. Not only that but their drifting away from the chruch fathers interpretation inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    Has the Pope made a wrong decision? I think I can understand what he did in accepting an invitation to the mosque. It is not a light decision and I'm sure he would understand the consequences of his decisions, but I don't see it as a precedence for us. I have even gone into a mosque to ask if we could play their soccer team as I was the coach of ours and I would always see them playing in the park opposite the mosque.
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