Patriarch Theodore of Alexandria and All Africa, visiting Cyprus on September 11-18, sent the message that the biggest problems have their solution, “we just have to look at them with courage and love, and to learn to help each other.”
In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, he said that Greece, Cyprus and Egypt had close links with each other at that time, and the presidents’ friendship helps his work.
In his initial statement, the Patriarch of Alexandria mentioned that “I wanted to make this trip to reunite the bonds of friendship of the Patriarchate of Alexandria with the Church of Cyprus.”
Remarking that the Patriarchate of Alexandria carries out a multifaceted work and has an invaluable contribution to the Greek and Cypriot community in Egypt, and to the Greek community and Orthodox Christians, in general, the Patriarch of Alexandria said that the large Cypriot community is in South Africa.
Asked how they dealt with the pandemic, the Patriarch of Alexandria said that “we have (in Egypt) too many cases because we must not forget that the population has exceeded 110 million.”
In Egypt they renovate our churches, they do not convert them into mosques
Asked that today the Middle East and especially Christians have to encounter great challenges, threats, persecution, violence, immigration. We see churches being converted into mosques with the biggest challenge being that of the Hagia Sophia. The Patriarch of Alexandria replied that he immediately sent a message of support to the Ecumenical Patriarch.
“I made a comparison, saying how blessed I am because the status of our churches is not changed and they even give the licence almost as soon as I submit a request for renovation.
Not only do I get the licence immediately, but also the State provides assistance for the renovation many times, whatever I need, as has been the case of St. Catherine in Suez and of the Church of St. George which is shown on Egyptian television just like Cyprus’ state channel.
When the program starts, you can see the official mosque and right next to it the Church of St. George in old Cairo. I was deeply hurt by the affront to our great monastery, our Church of our dreams, the Hagia Sophia, so I appealed, I also sent the messages I had to send, and I made the comparison, saying how blessed we are in Egypt because we can renovate our churches and how deeply the Greek community and Christianity hurt, when we see the Symbol of Christianity being converted into a mosque by revoking its status,” he noted.