Seeking hope among Egypt's flames

By Harry Hagopian
August 21, 2013

In these incredibly difficult days for much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, including Egypt, it can be difficult to find the faith and hope we need to carry on.

The recent reports of the treatment of Coptic (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18857) and other Christians and minorities in Egypt are horrific (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/18858).

This thought shared by a young Copt from the USA on his Facebook page is perhaps especially poignant: Love is like incense. Its beautiful scent is revealed only when it burns in the fire. Even though our churches burn in Egypt and many loved ones are suffering during these times, God's love and grace will prevail in the fire.

This is a beautiful thought. Love is not quenched or exhausted by the crimes committed against humanity made in God's image. Yet it is our clear obligation to challenge those crimes, to put out the fires, and to seek to halt the cycles of violence and destruction.

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© Harry Hagopian is an international lawyer, ecumenist and EU political consultant. He also acts as a Middle East and inter-faith advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales and as Middle East consultant to ACEP (Christians in Politics) in Paris. He is an Ekklesia associate and regular contributor (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian). Formerly an Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Committee and Executive Director of the Middle East Council of Churches, he is now an international fellow, Sorbonne III University, Paris, consultant to the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (UK), Ecumenical consultant to the Primate of Armenian Church in UK & Ireland, and author of ,em>The Armenian Church in the Holy Land. Dr Hagopian’s own website is www.epektasis.net Follow him on Twitter here: @harryhagopian

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