Monday 03 May 2021
Books – Mina Ghaly:
The monk, Rev. Gabriel Al-Orchalimi, the media spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Near East, revealed that the Deir al-Sultan crisis in Jerusalem is still ongoing, as the monastery is under constant attempts by Ethiopian monks to control it.
The monk Gabriel explained in exclusive statements to Masrawy that the last problem that occurred was caused by hanging the flag of Ethiopia on the tent that the Ethiopians built, which disturbed us because the monastery is Egyptian and is owned by the Coptic Orthodox Church, and we organized a protest stand headed by Anba Anthony, Bishop of the Holy See of Jerusalem and the Near East, but not Anything new happened, and the Ethiopian flag remained raised on the tent until the end of the Easter celebrations.
The monk Gabriel pointed out that the tent set up by the Ethiopians is held only at the time of the celebrations and temporarily and not all the time.
Sources in the Coptic Orthodox Church told Masrawy that it is historically proven that this monastery is “Egyptian”, and there are continuous attempts by Ethiopian monks to control it, but we reject that and confront it through official means. “
The sources pointed out that the Egyptian Church possesses all the documents that confirm its entitlement to this historic monastery, especially since the Coptic monasticism has never been cut off to the Holy Land, and it has not happened that the monastery is devoid of Egyptian monks.
It is noteworthy that Ethiopian monks set up a tent and raised the flag of their country inside the monastery of the Sultan owned by the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, which is located inside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, which angered the Egyptian monks.
The Egyptian monks gathered in the monastery two days ago to remove the tent and the Ethiopian flag, amid intervention by police personnel, while the Egyptian Church was informed of all the details to intervene and calm the situation.
Following these events, the Archbishop of Jerusalem, Anba Anthony, organized a protest with the participation of Egyptian monks; A protest against the Ethiopian monks’ attack on them, amid the presence of police officers who tried to calm the situation.
Monastery of the Sultan is an ancient Coptic Orthodox monastery located within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem, in the Christian Quarter next to the Church of Saint Helena and the Church of the Angel, and the corridor leading from Helena to the Wall of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
It has an area of about 1,800 square meters. Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi brought it back to the Copts after the Crusaders took it over, and it may have been known since then as “Deir al-Sultan”. The Monastery of the Sultan is of special importance to the Copts because it is their direct way to reach from the Monastery of Saint Anthony, where the Egyptian Patriarchate is based, to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The monastery square is located above the Church of St. Helena and in the southwestern corner of this square are two historical churches: the Church of the Four Incarnate Spiritual Beings (the Four Animals) with an area of 42 square meters, and the Church of Archangel Michael, which is on the ground floor and an area of 35 square meters. In order to get from this monastery to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, one must enter the Church of the Four Beasts, go down to the Angel Church and exit from its door to the hallway of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
The Coptic Orthodox Church had issued an earlier statement confirming that the monastery of the Coptic Sultan is one of the monasteries of the Coptic Church outside Egypt, and the buildings, inclusions and components of the monastery indicate its Coptic identity, like all Coptic monasteries, and it is part of the properties of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the Holy Land, as it is adjacent to the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. And the Antonine College and the rest of the properties in the region. Coptic monasticism has not been interrupted in the Holy Land, and the monastery has never been empty of Egyptian Coptic monks until now.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros said during his sermon at the Easter Mass, that he prays for a solution to the problem of the Renaissance Dam, to give God a solution that satisfies everyone, describing Ethiopia as a sister country that shares the same continent, calling it inclination towards participation, cooperation and development.
His Holiness affirmed that he also prayed that God would give wisdom to all those responsible and make diplomatic solutions succeed.
Representative Amr Darwish, Secretary of the Local Administration Committee in the House of Representatives and a member of the Youth Party and Politician Coordination, made an urgent statement in the House of Representatives to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, regarding the measures taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to defend the rights of Egypt and the right of Egyptian monks in Deir al-Sultan in Al-Quds Al-Sharif.