The organisers of the visit by Metropolitan Seraphim of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria mentioned that the original stimulus to organising the visit came from this column. How valuable do you think the visit proved to be?
The Ecumenical Service at Cospicua last Thursday certainly served to raise our awareness of the plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt, which has continued in spite of the end of the Mubarak regime, as well as of the present outright persecution of Christians in more than forty states. Christian martyrs have been more numerous in our lifetime than in the years of the worst persecutions by the Roman emperors….
On the other hand, it had been highlighted in the Muslim tradition since its very beginning. Prophet Mohammed said: “To God belongs 99 names…” the first two being “Ar-rahman” and “Ar-rahim”, which mean “the most compassionate” and “Merciful”.
When I was in Cairo, Muslims greeted me with the words: Salamo Alik Wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakato which means peace, mercy and blessing of Allah be on you. Curiously enough, just a few months ago Christians in Malaysia faced problems because some potent Muslims wanted to forbid them from using the name Allah for the Christian God, because they refused to accept that He was the same as the prophet’s…