Coptic Christian & Muslim Leaders to Hold Joint Press Conference
On Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 at 11 a.m. PST, MPAC and the Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of Los Angeles, will hold a press conference to stand together in strongly condemning all violent reactions that have been playing out over the past several days in the Middle East.
SEE: “MPAC Condemns Attacks on U.S. Embassies, Calls for Protection of All U.S. Personnel”(mpac.org)
ALSO SEE: “Urgent Press Release: Diocese Condemns Inflammatory Film against Islam and Resulting Violence” (lacopts.org)
His Grace Bishop Serapion, Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles and MPAC Senior Adviser Dr. Maher Hathout will stress the importance of the faith community standing together in light of the spreading attacks and rising tensions sparked by the amateur hate video, “Innocence of Muslims.”
The Coptic Orthodox Church is the largest church in the Middle East, with approximately 12 million faithful in Egypt. The Coptic Orthodox Christian Diocese of Los Angeles is led by His Grace Bishop Serapion, who serves under the blessing of the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate in Alexandria, Egypt.
“Our religions teach us to respond to hate speech with good speech and good work,” Dr. Hathout said. “The behavior exhibited does not speak for the majority of Muslims and are the actions of a small group. This irrational behavior cannot be allowed to spread, and this movie cannot be allowed to dictate our actions.”
“The actions of a few ignorant individuals do not represent the collective Diaspora Copts, nor do they represent the collective Muslim community,” Bishop Serapion said. “As Christians, we are proud of our core values that teach love and respect of others and we must act with accordance to our beliefs. It is in moments like these that we stand with those who share a common respect of all religions and love of humanity.”
In a statement to be released at the press conference on Monday in Arabic and English, the two religious leaders will condemn desecration directed at any religion and condemn any attacks against religious communities, Coptic or Muslim in particular, both in Egypt and the U.S. Coptic Christian and Muslim leaders in Los Angeles have been meeting for the purposes of peacemaking and mutual understanding.
SEE ALSO: Muslim, Arab, & Interfaith Organizations Condemn Attacks on U.S. Embassies for texts of previously released statements.