As there are many debates about the struggle over the presidential elections and the formation of the Constitutional committee, I don’t watch a lot of talk shows as they repeat the same talk. I do not know if it was my bad luck that led me to this talk show whose host was talking about Copts visiting Jerusalem to celebrate the Holy week and Easter there.
I was appalled by the words of the host who was trying to exaggerate the news saying very hot headlines, for instance: "An air bridge between Egypt and Jerusalem to transmit Egyptian Christians", "enormous flights and buses travelling between Egypt and Israel", "thousands of Christians are flocking into Israeli territory for the first time to perform their Pilgrimage rituals"
Then he started to say angrily: “This is betrayal by the Copts towards Egypt and the Palestinian cause as well as a betrayal to the vows of His Holiness Pope Shenouda III. He also required an apology for what they have done as this is a heinous crime against their country!
Then I heard news about the Egyptian priest there refusing to receive those Egyptian pilgrims, then many statements by Coptic bishops stressing that the policy of the Coptic church won’t change towards the Palestinian cause and he who goes to Jerusalem will be subjected to penalties. Finally, Abba Pachomius, acting Pope, said that the coming Pope will have the right to decide what to do, adding that the behavior of some people can’t change the mind of the church and most of Copts towards the Palestinian cause.
Let’s talk about it: have all Copts been prevented from visiting Jerusalem during the last decades? Why should some people be allowed to visit Jerusalem while others are not? Will Christians be betrayals just for visiting the churches of Jerusalem? Why the Coptic bishop of Jerusalem stays there as well as the Egyptian Ambassador without calling them as “traitors”?
I know some people will answer me saying that Christ has visited many places in Egypt, and we don’t have to visit Jerusalem. Others will say that we should obey the orders of church fathers about such visit, but I’ll answer them that church should be obeyed in the theological and ecclesiastic orders, not the personal and political ones. Everyone knows that politics is unstable while religion is stable and permanent. I think that such visit will not be of much help to the Jews to occupy Jerusalem, but will help the poor Palestinians economically, and will give them money which they are in bad need for.
I want to tell this brilliant talk show host I mentioned above: Christians are not traitors; they are the people whose Christ was crucified by the Jews. You are not more patriot than we are, and throughout history we have never heard about an Egyptian Christian spy, and there is no need to incite the radical Islamists against Christians. Moreover, it is the right of Christians to visit Jerusalem as it is your right to visit Saudi Arabia as a pilgrim. No matter what happens between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, you will go there as a pilgrim and I won’t call you traitor.