Coptic youth are debating over the national and political role in the Coptic Orthodox Church. They realize indeed that the role of their church in building the nation and its participation in all Egyptian revolutions. Moreover, the Coptic Orthodox Church gives great concern to the nation. Its belonging to Egypt is sometimes considered before its faith.
The Coptic church is known for belonging to the nation and willing to sacrifice for it. Belonging now means to care for the nation without supporting a certain party or ideology.
When people fight a common enemy, the war becomes a national duty just like facing terrorism in all its forms. Many young people don’t realize the national role of the Coptic church. There are almost five generations do not know that the Coptic church experienced democratic struggle for long time.
In 1872, the General congregation council was formed. For more than 130 years, Pope Cyril V was exiled to Parameos Monastery in 1891 and the council was suspended four times. Yet, the last regulation of choosing the Pope caused widespread controversy.
After the death of Pope Cyril V, a conference was held at the Continental Hotel on December 13th, 1927, and was attended by 102 member of the Shura Council, MPs and Coptic notables who elected Father John Salama as the new patriarch, but he waivered his right soon in order to keep the unity of the church.
Then the regulation of 1927 came to put few conditions to choose the Patriarch like to be Egyptian Christian who belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church. Three Patriarchs were elected according to this regulation.
After the death of Bishop Yousab in 1956, the conflict renewed, and President Nasser made the alter lot to chose the Pope rule since the president himself was not elected. It stipulated that the age of the candidate is no less than forty years, and that he has spent at least 15 years as monk.
Such struggle concerning the election of the Pope reached to court dozens of times and the Parliament discussed it 18 times proving that such position is political as well as spiritual.
The young ages may not realize all of this, just like they don’t realize that the church is praying for governors and army. Those young people may disagree with the church or their spiritual leaders, but they should realize the difference between being national, and have a political role.