Fr Anthony Clements, the British Orthodox General Priest in Scotland, assisted Fr. Karas Anba Bishoy and Fr.Seraphim El Souriani in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the Coptic Cathedral of St. George & St. Athanasios in Newcastle on the Feast of Pentecost (23 May). The large congregation included not only expatriate Egyptians and Sudanese, but also worshippers from Iraq and Eritrea, as well as a large group of Coptic Canadian students in Britain to attend Newcastle university. His Grace Bishop Antony was not present as he was attending the annual Pentecost meeting of the Holy Synod in Cairo.
Video about Eritrean Orthodox Christians persecution, supported by In Chains for Christ. Visit us at http://www.inchainsforchrist.org
Abba Seraphim commends this short, but moving film, about our brethren the Christians of Eritrea and asks that we do not forget their suffering. His Holiness Abune Antonios is prayed for as the canonical Eritrean Patriarch in every service of the British and Coptic Church but we must not forget all those others suffering for their faith. Whilst we will uphold the Orthodox Faith to our last breath we cannot countenance the persecution of any one for the sake of their faith and we ask the Lord to comfort all victims of conscience and pray for their speedy release.
Abba Seraphim will join a protest vigil to “Stand in Solidarity with Eritrean Christians” outside the Eritrean Embassy between 3-4 pm on Thursday, 3 June. The vigil has been organised by a number of Christian Human Rights’ organisations: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Release Eritrea, Church in Chains, Release International and Open Doors. At a similar gathering in May 2008 Abba Seraphim handed in a petition at the Embassy calling for the resoration of His Holiness Abune Antonios, the canonical Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church and in June 2007 organised an Ecumenical Prayer Service in London for Abune Antonios. The British Orthodox Church also sponsors a website calling for the Patriarch’s restoration: http://www.abuneantonios.com/
The Eritrean Embassy is at 96 White Lion Streert, London, N1 9PF (near the Angel tube).
Held at St. Mary’s-on-Paddington Green in London on Wednesday evening.
The Oriental Orthodox Churches were represented by Metropolitan Abba Seraphim of the British Orthodox Church (who chaired the proceedings), Bishop Angaelos (Coptic Orthodox) and Archbishop Mar Athanasios Touma (Syriac Orthodox). There was a strong ecumenical representation with The Rev’d Bill Snelson, General Secretary of Churches Together in England; the Bishop of Woolwich (The Right Rev’d Christopher Chessun) as well as Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Evangelical clergy present as well as representatives of Amnesty International, Aid to the Church in Need, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Human Rights Concern – Eritrea. A Report of the meeting, with extracts from an interview with Metropolitan Seraphim by Martin Plaut (Africa Editor) was broadcast on the BBC World Service programme “World Briefing” on 28 June. Read more ►
Divine Liturgy – 10:30am
Divine Liturgy 2.30 p.m.