LWF Pays Tribute to Pope Shenouda’s Commitment to Interfaith Dialogue

Pope Shenouda III and Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan exchange greetings at a past meeting of the Middle East Council of Churches. © ELCJHL

Coptic Church Leader Had “Deep Passion” for the Gospel, Says Bishop Younan

JERUSALEM/GENEVA 29 March 2012 (Lutheran World Information) – The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) President, Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan, expressed LWF’s sympathy and prayers with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in Egypt, following the death of Pope Shenouda III.

“We pray for you and the whole Coptic Church … in this difficult time of loss of a beloved leader,” said Younan in a letter of condolence to the Secretary of the Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church Metropolitan Bishoy.

Shenouda III served as Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa from 1971 until his death on 17 March, aged 88. He was buried on 20 March.

Younan, who is also bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, described the Coptic Church leader as a person with a “deep passion” for the gospel, church mission, and the well-being of the world.

He was “a man of dialogue, recognizing the importance of cooperation among churches in the Middle East. He was a promoter of interfaith discussions, especially with the Muslim community of Egypt, promoting a dialogue for life,” the LWF president continued.

In the context of the Lent season, Younan emphasized the Christian calling to “walk together in preparation for Christ’s death on Good Friday, yet looking beyond the tomb to the glorious expression of God’s love in the Resurrection.”

The Coptic Orthodox Church has an estimated 12 million followers in Egypt.