Sunday, September 3, 2017

Copts asked not to host pilgrimages in Egypt

(Coptic Solidarity) - Coptic monasteries and moulids, the celebrations of saints that bring hundreds of thousands of pilgrims and visitors to holy sites across Egypt, are usually overflowing during the summer. But this year, they are almost empty, thanks to the decision made by Egyptian churches to cancel all church trips and conferences. The decision, made following security instructions issued in fear of Copts becoming the targets of even more terrorist attacks, has cast a long shadow on church activities, as well as on the resources of many monasteries and their ability to meet their needs.

According to church officials, the decision to cancel most church activities was made after close collaboration between the various churches and the country’s security services. The heads of all three churches—Coptic Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant—all received strict instructions not to launch any activities that require travel, including trips to monasteries or conferences in coastal areas, pushing all churches to jointly and immediately make the decision. The Deir al-Muharraq monastery in al-Qusiyyah in the south of Egypt, where daily religious celebrations are held for 26 days ending August 26, had to force visitors to leave and canceled the reservations of pilgrims who usually spend many days there, fulfilling vows, giving donations, and attending concentrated religious rites and prayers. Beyond that, a number of monasteries put in place numerous strict requirements for accepting Coptic visitors, whether individually or in groups, including opening the monasteries on specific days for short periods of time, and receiving prior approval for visits.

Summer vacation is the Egyptian church’s most active season of the year, and that holds true for the Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches. Churches go all-out in setting up spiritual, educational, and recreational events and activities to attract the church’s youth. This includes organizing conferences and competitions in coastal or religiously relevant areas such as Alexandria, Port Said, the Red Sea governorate, and Wadi al-Natroun. This is all in addition to the trips Copts organize through Christian-owned travel agencies to both monasteries and summer resorts...
Complete article here.


  1. "The heads of all three churches—Coptic Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant"

    What about the Patriarchate of Alexandria?

    1. And does this apply to Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai?