11/18/2016, 12.10
KUWAIT - EGYPT
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The Coptic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac in Kuwait: Egyptian Catholics welcome here

by Loula Lahham

The Egyptian Church leader was welcomed by the apostolic vicar and numerous faithful. Today he baptized and confirmed children in the cathedral of Kuwait-City. Spokesman for the Coptic Church: "The Egyptian Catholics abroad know little about their mother church, this is why the patriarch wants to be close to them." The Catholic Church in Kuwait has about 200 thousand faithful, mostly migrants from Asian and Arab countries.

 

Kuwait City (AsiaNews) - The Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac, the spiritual leader of the Catholic Copts, the largest Egyptian Catholic community, began his first pastoral visit to Kuwait, which will end on November 20.

Upon arriving at the airport, the patriarch said he was very happy to visit the country for the first time: "Thousands of different nationalities and faiths live in this state, known for its religious tolerance. The Egyptian community is very well received in Kuwait. For many of them, it is a second home country. "

The patriarch was welcomed by Msgr. Camillo Balin, apostolic vicar of Northern Arabia, Fr. Angélus Massoud, curate of the Coptic Catholic Church in Kuwait, the priest of the Maronite Church, the Protestant Church and some Coptic Catholic parishioners.

In his welcome speech, Fr. Massoud, who joined the vicariate in 2006, said that "this visit is of particular importance because Kuwait is the gulf country that welcomes most Egyptians, including the Coptic Catholics who take full advantage of the atmosphere of religious and cultural tolerance ".

In addition to his meetings with the authorities and with religious leaders - to deepen dialogue between faiths - yesterday patriarch Isaac chaired a High Mass in the Cathedral of the Holy Family, where he gathered a large number of faithful. Today he baptized and confirmed many children belonging to the Kuwaiti parish.

Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt, spoke to AsiaNews about the importance of the visit: "The new generations of Egyptians abroad know little about their mother Church. For this reason, His Beatitude considered it a must to help the parishioners of the diaspora. It was in this context that the patriarch made two tours in the USA, one in Australia, and several in Europe. Now he heads to the east, towards the Gulf countries that welcome millions of Egyptians of all religions".

Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac asked for a special audience with the Emir of Kuwait to thank him for his reception, and congratulate him for the tributemade him by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-mon, who called the emir a "leader of humanitarian action".

The Catholic Church in Kuwait has about 200 thousand faithful mostly migrants, the majority from Asia, but also from Arab countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Palestine. This community is part of the Episcopal Vicariate of Northern Arabia, which also includes the Church of Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi. The current cathedral of Kuwait-City was built on land provided by the Kuwaiti government in 1957.

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