Washington D.C., Jul 24, 2019 / 14:00 pm
A leading Coptic archbishop said that Christians must "walk in the shoes" of those facing global Christian persecution, while overcoming a "false" divide between churches of the East and the West.
"As Christians, we believe in the example of Christ, who came and walked in our shoes, the humanity, to be our advocate."
"And if we're going to advocate for others, we're going to need to walk in their shoes as well, whether they be in the Middle East or sub-Saharan Africa or Southeast Asia or anywhere else," Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London and an international religious freedom advocate, told CNA in an interview last week.
"I think one of the false barriers we have is this 'Christians of the East and Christians of the West' mentality. A Christian is a Christian. The Body of Christ is the Body of Christ," he added.
Archbishop Angaelos talked with CNA at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, hosted by the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. from July 15-19. The meeting - the second of its kind - featured religious and civic leaders from around the world, as well as delegations from 106 countries, meeting to discuss religious persecution and strategies to promote and defend religious freedom.
The archbishop, who spoke at the Ministerial, is the first Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, appointed to the role in 2017 after having served as General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom since 1999. He has also been recognized by Queen Elizabeth II as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for his "Services to International Religious Freedom."