No matter how expected the death of HH Shenouda III was for me due to his long illness, I still couldn't but feel that the world has lost a man of faith who always held Christ in his heart and the Cross in his hand.
Pope Shenouda III, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, the single largest church in the Middle East, died on Saturday 17 March 2012 aged 89. Ekklesia associate Michael Marten, from the University of Stirling, locates and evaluates his significance.
Middle East specialist and Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian is appearing on BBC and Premier Radio programmes over the New Year period, analysing the dramatic changes which have taken place in the region over the past year.
Given the shifts taking place almost on a daily basis across the whole Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region since last month, it was especially interesting to read the ACN interview reproduced by Ekklesia with HE Cardinal Antonius Naguib from the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, Egypt -- also a member of the Middle East Council of Churches.
In the midst of popular uprisings against oppression across the Middle East, an important identity question faces hard-pressed Christian minorities, says Harry Hagopian. Can these Christian communities play their role as fully-fledged Arab citizens rather than solely as ‘Arab Christians’.