The Beatitudes Alive in Cairo

Reflecting on current events, we are witnesses to the drama and struggle represented by the Beatitudes in our own time. Consider the demonstrations in Egypt. There we can see the human longing expressed in the Beatitudes set before us in cable television and the Internet. May God, the compassionate, the merciful, bless them and keep them. May their desires be granted, Inshallah.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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20 Responses to The Beatitudes Alive in Cairo

  1. I’m not sure protests and riots fueled by the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly alQueda is what Jesus meant.

    • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

      The Egyptian government is no bargain according to accounts. But I’m not sure becoming a blanket cheering section for those against the government is wise. One internet site says that Coptic Christian leaders are trying to keep their people from getting involved because there is a good chance a replacement government might be worse–as in Islamic fundamentalists of the type that are doing ethnic cleansing of Chaldean Catholics in Iraq. Already some of the groups organizing the street demonstrations have issued statements claiming the next move is war against and the destruction of Israel. Not exactly Beatitude values.

      • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

        May their desires be granted! Which ones??? Another internet site has a poll of Egyptians. Over 80% want adulterers stoned to death. And over 80% want those who leave Islam killed. Where are those points in the Beatitudes????

        • John, The desires I hope are granted are the hunger and thirst for justice. Of course I do not mean to imply that every single thing Egyptians may some day vote for will be good; the scope of this photo essay was dealing with the world of the Beatitudes. Americans consistently support the death penalty by wide margins, for example, and I don’t think that means Americans should be denied the right to vote. I also suspect if you asked Americans if adultery should be outlawed, a disturbingly large number would say yes. Of course those would be the ones who assume they themselves would never get caught!

  2. I was shocked from the titles of the photos, I don’t know how these holy bible sentences applied for these protests, These protests are Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaueda hidden in civil dresses.
    As an egyptian christian living in US, I want to admit that Mubarek regime is not protecting the egyptian christians from the muslim brotherhood, but if these protests reaches the government, no single christian will be alive in Egypt. All egyptian christians either orthodex or catholics represents 12 – 14 % which means more than 12,000,000 citizens, no one of them particiate in these protests because they know what is the next step. Even if the political international news says there are christians among them I urgue them to proof that by a clear evidence.I wish these titles below the pictures to be changes because it hurts your christain brothers in egypt.

    Also I wish readers to see that all pictures are Muslim Brotherhood or Islamic Fundamentals.

    For Exapmle “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” is givin to a fundamental woman she may share before in Kidnapping christoian girls, offering them fro rapping then they forced them to change their christianity ti ISLAM.

    SO I DON’T KNOW WHICH beatitude is it ???
    http://www.copts.com/english/?p=406

    • Have you not seen Muslims encircle praying Christians to protect them, followed by the Christians doing the same for their Muslim brothers? Did you not hear one of them say that the Mubarak regime has played them off against one another? As the Director of the Commission on Peace and Justice for my diocese, I am concerned about a takeover by the Muslim Brotherhood or any fundamentalist group, but all that has happened in Egypt in the past two weeks has not been orchestrated by them. Can’t some credit be given to people who are tired of being oppressed and want to live in freedom? Can’t we pray for them to be safe and successful?

  3. I am wondering from deleteing my comments ! What a transperancy is it?

  4. I love this posting, thanks.

    I have a feeling that some of these negative comments are from people who are not that interested in interfaith dialogue. For such people, no matter what the Egyptian people do, their motives will be greeted with suspicion. Furthermore, such commenters will use the struggles of the Coptics to excuse what is essentially xenophobia. How quickly we forget how the Christians were treated under Mubarek!

  5. Christine Lehman

    As an Eastern Catholic (Byzantine rite) I’m with Hanny Michael and Deacon John M. Bresnahan on this one. Eastern Rite Christians (Catholic and Orthodox) in Muslim countries face *enormous* persecution on a daily basis from these “compassionate” folks you’re depicting here. A real slap in the face to your Eastern brothers and sisters, IMHO. :-(

  6. Christine, it is sad that we live in a world where any compassion or solidarity with human beings can be considered a “slap” to others. And to look out on a crowd of millions of people asking for freedom and see only enemies must make the world a very frightening place for you. A binary “us v. them” universe is like that. If there are only two teams and “my” team must always win on every point, then the level of terror and fear must, I imagine, be almost unbearable.

  7. Which Beatitudes are these ? I wish as a Syrian Christian we will not another arctile about The Beatitudes Alive in Syria

    http://www.coptsunited.com/Details.php?I=428&A=3583

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-egypt-sectarian-clashes-20110509,0,2968679.story?track=rss

    God Bless All of You

  8. Are we going to have a discussion here of the Coptic churches attacked and the Christians assaulted and killed? I think the Copts would have a rather different view of this. If there is a vision of freedom in Egypt, it is not for anyone of the Christian faith, that’s for sure.

  9. I think the ones who were written off early here as naysayers knew what they were talking about. Compelling video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6UA3cAvzqs&feature=endscreen&NR=1

  10. I very much appreciated the photo essay and the connection to Christian faith. Some of the comments were unfortunate, I think. After all, what do the critics suggest, NOT supporting the aspiration of the Egyptian people who very, very, very bravely faced down brutal and enduring oppression and violence.

    The Muslim Brotherhood did help organize the protest movement, as is their right to do so. But really, it was the rather radical labor movements and the students in Egypt that really got the thing going. We should support their aspirations for freedom and economic justice and hang our head in shame (as Americans) for arming, backing, and giving license to those tyrants.

    Some of the comments are downright prejudiced. I am a Catholic who married a muslim. Given, ahem, our own dirty laundry, and my own experiences in the church, I hardly think you fellows should be throwing the first stone.