Egypt's Pope Tawadros II tackles the church's social role with EU counter-terrorism coordinator

Ahram Online , Monday 27 Feb 2023

Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II, pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the Sea of Saint Mark, met on Monday Ilkka Salmi, the European Union (EU) counter-terrorism coordinator. The talks focused on the church's spiritual and social role to support Egyptian society, read a statement by the church.

Pope Tawadros II and Ilkka Salmi
Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Sea of Saint Mark during his meeting with Ilkka Salmi , the European Union (EU) Counter-Terrorism Coordinator and his escorting delegation on Monday 26 February, 2023. Photo courtesy of Coptic Church spokesman Facebook page.

One of the most prominent features of the social role of the church is building schools from which many Egyptian figures graduated and took a leading role in society, the pope told his guest.

He added that since 2013 Egypt has been focusing on two main causes: the elimination of terrorism, which was declared by the president two days ago in Sinai; and addressing poverty and achieving growth to build new Egypt, he added. 

Egypt has taken a major step in the second cause, he noted, citing the establishment of the New Administrative Capital and ongoing national mega projects.

The pope said Egypt relies on youth who represent a large portion of the country's population, adding that "we have a youth bishopric in the church, and we offer our youth many programmes and meetings."

The pope urged providing good education for youth to discourage them against regular and irregular migration, saying the state is working on providing job opportunities in the new projects.

He added that the state is diligently working on the Decent Life initiative, which is a large project to develop villages and eradicate poverty.

"Today, it is necessary to work to sow love and hope in the hearts of young people around the world in light of the wars, pandemics, and difficult economic circumstances. As a church, we must help our youth by enriching their spiritual life and serving the community," he concluded.

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