MARY, OUR MOTHER

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Egypt Crisis in a Global Context: A Special Report


Tribulation Times 

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  February 1, 2011  

 

(Jer 6:13-14) For from the least of them even to the greatest, all are given to covetousness: and from the prophet even to the priest, all are guilty of deceit. And they healed the breach of the daughter of my people disgracefully, saying: Peace, peace: and there was no peace.

ANALYSISThe Egypt Crisis in a Global Context: A Special Report
 
NEWS HEADLINEReluctant peace doves refuse to leave Vatican

Doves of peace released by Pope Benedict XVI during the weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday refused to leave the Vatican and flew straight back in through the open window, an AFP photographer sa

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 31:  Pope Bene...

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id.

Embarrassed officials only managed to catch and re-release one of the birds.

The pope was accompanied at the window of his studio in St.  Peter's square by two children from the Catholic Action of Rome who had celebrated a "Month for Peace" in January.

The amused pair joined the effort to recapture the doves.

During the Angelus, Benedict marked the International Day of Intercession for Peace in the Holy Land, calling for "concrete plans for peace," and wished serenity and prosperity for those about to celebrate the Lunar New Year in the Far East.

The pope made no reference to the ongoing tensions in Egypt.
OPINION: Victoria priests offer insight into Egypt

AMERICAN SPECTATOREgyptian Intransigence Ominous

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BALTIMORE SUN: Maryland Copts pray for safety 

The Coptic flag created in 2005 by Coptic acti...

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of families in Egypt amid protests

As they have done for nearly 20 years, members of the close-knit and expanding community of Coptic Christians in Maryland prayed Sunday morning at a church in Savage, the red-brick building thick with incense and echoing with the sound of religious recitations sung in Arabic and English.

On this particular Sunday, as massive protests aimed at unseating President Hosni Mubarak's authoritarian regime gripped Egypt, the congregation at St.  Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church prayed not just for the safety of family members there but also for a resolution to the unrest — one that would put in power a moderate government friendly to religious diversity.

"They say it's horrible there, a mess everywhere," said George Mekhail, a Columbia resident with family in Cairo, Egypt's capital city and the site of the largest and most violent demonstrations against Mubarak's government.  "The men are coming out to protect" their neighborhoods against looters who are taking advantage of the chaos in the country, Mekhail said.

Unable to reach family in Egypt last week on their cell phones or by e-mail after Mubarak shut down cellular and Internet connections to stop protesters from organizing, members of Maryland's Coptic diaspora said they have had to depend on landline connections to call loved ones in Egypt.  Cellular connections were recently restored by Egyptian authorities.

Their families, they said, have largely barricaded themselves in their homes, with doormen staying on guard around the clock inside apartment buildings.  Mona Gobrial, whose husband, the Rev.  Guirguis Gobrial, has served as the Savage congregation's priest since 1995, said Saturday was the first time since the large-scale protests began on Jan.  25 that her sisters in Cairo could go out to get food for their families.

"Nobody's sleeping," she said.  "They don't know how it went from peaceful to that chaotic."

Father Gobrial called for three days of fasting and extra prayer services this week at St.  Mary's in light of the protests and violence in Egypt.  As the Sunday services ended around noon and the crowd of mostly young families began to disperse, a woman told two friends animatedly in Arabic and English about the sounds of gunshots her extended family said they had heard in Cairo.

 

Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 27- "On holy stillness of body and soul"

60. Stillness is unceasing worship and waiting upon God.
 



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