His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church
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Over the last few years, Egypt, and the Middle East in general, has been continuously torn by conflict and shaken by political change.
It is sometimes hard to believe that this region is actually the birthplace of Christ and Christianity. Egypt is still home to the largest Christian denomination in the Middle East, and Coptic Orthodox Christians around the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas on the 7 January.
For many, the celebration, whatever the date, is a time to remember and reflect upon the humble entry of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace into a troubled world.
Our lives, like the Middle East, can sometimes be ravaged by conflict as we attempt to negotiate our way through a whirlwind of struggles, responsibilities and hardships. But it is at Christmas, that we can all take the opportunity to acknowledge that peace and abundance of life was promised to humanity, and there is a promise of salvation and restoration for each and every one of us.
For a short time Christ gave up His heavenly glory so that we may share in it with Him in eternity.
From the Nativity Sermon of St John Chyrsostom:
‘For this day the ancient slavery is ended, the devil confounded, the demons take to flight, the power of death is broken, paradise is unlocked, the curse is taken away, sin is removed from us, error driven out, truth has been brought back, and men now hold speech with angels.’