worldwatchmonitor.org - Copts in the village of Ezbat Al-Forn, in the Minya governorate, have their church back after it was forced to close “for security reasons” last month, and celebrated this with a mass on Sunday morning (10 September) – the same day that another village church reopened elsewhere in Minya.

The first mass at the reopened Saint Mary and St Michael Coptic Orthodox church, which meets in a private home owned by the Diocese, was led by Fr Daniel Babawy with Minya police forces present to provide security for fear of reprisals from the Muslim community, as reported by Coptic news site Watani. In fact, some Muslims visited the Copts to congratulate them at the reopening of their church.

The community of 400 Coptic Christians in Ezbat Al-Forn were stopped from holding Sunday mass and banned from the premises by police on Sunday 20 August.

Police said the Copts, who were meeting in a private home, lacked a permit to use the home to practise religious rites, but the official police report shows that the decision was taken following complaints by local Muslims, after which World Watch Monitor understands the police shut the church for the Copts’ protection.

On 21 August, following the closure of their church, the Copts processed peacefully through the village streets to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

Click to read more at worldwatchmonitor.org.


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honor your patience.

St. John of the Ladder