The Orthodox Christians in the Arab world, celebrated Easter Day last Sunday. The event is Greek version of the Jewish Passover (Pesach). The event depicts the first appearance of Jesus, after resurrection, to his eleven disciples. The Orthodox Church (Coptic) is based on the teachings of St. Mark, who preached Christianity in Egypt in 61 CE.
One of the thousands of Christians who visited Jerusalem to join the celebration, was Bishop Anthasius of Ramallah’s Egyptian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem. He was attacked by the Jewish police. Later, he told Israeli daily Maariv: “They treated me like a dog“. The newspaper published a video clip on Monday (watch below), showing Jewish policemen attacking the 84-year-old Bishop Anthasius.
Last week, Israeli police also attacked Egyptian diplomats in Jerusalem, prompting Egypt’s foreign affairs ministry to summon Israeli Ambassador Yaacov Amitai to express its displeasure.
Israeli police subsequently issued a formal apology to both Egypt and Bishop Anthasius for last week’s incident.
On May 10, 2013, Jewish police took Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Hussein, was arrested for allegedly involved in a Muslim protest against Jews entering Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third most sacred building in Islamic faith. During the protest, allegedly, some chairs were thrown on the ‘Chosen People’. The Zionist Jews believe in the myth that Al-Aqsa Mosque is built over the site of ancient Temple Mount. However, according to Jewish professor Benjamin Mazar, former President of Hebrew University, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, is built at the site of an old Roman fortress and not Temple Mount (the Wailing Wall).
On May 10, 2013, Pope Tawadros II of Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church met with the kosher Catholic Pope Francis I at Vatican, where both prayed together – a first in 40 years. The Coptic Church split from Vatican in the fifth century over theoratic differences. Since taking office last year, Pope Tawadros has reached out to Egypt’s Catholics.
Before the historic Palestine was converted into a “Jewish homeland” in May 1948 – Christians constituted 13% of the total population. Currently, the Christian population in Israel is 1.9% and 2.1% in the PA-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank.