‘Not wise to hold gathering in secret’
KUWAIT CITY, April 25: Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Kuwait Bishop Bijoul Bishoy affirmed that precautionary and preventive health measures the world has implemented due to the corona pandemic have cast a shadow over the religious occasions the people await each year to celebrate, reports Al- Seyassah daily.
In a telephone statement from Cairo, as he’s currently unable to return to Kuwait due to the suspension of fl ights, Bishop Bijoul said “We celebrated our feast of resurrection (Easter) without congratulating each other as we used to do in the demonstration of love ”, and we will repeat the blessed month of Ramadan without the diwaniyas and Iftar meals, no ghabqa and gatherings at the feast (Eid festivity) when we used to feel very warm.”
He added, “We miss the annual Kuwaiti family warmth, and hopefully, this will be the first and last time it ever happens. We will return to our beautiful and lovely meetings that warm our hearts.” Father Bijoul thanked the political leaders worldwide for the precautionary measures taken to protect life, even as we single out our beloved Kuwait and Egypt where we live.
He emphasized the pandemic is like a sword, which will cut our head off if we look up, while we survive by bowing our head with wisdom in through appreciating its gravity. It is not wise to confront and resist by holding gatherings in secret, which nothing but fatigue and easy transmission of infection, indicating compliance with loving directives is profitable wisdom.
And, I say to those murmuring that we are imprisoned: “on the contrary, we are saved, guarded and protected against diseases and infection that may come to us if we leave our homes unnecessarily. And if we practice social distancing, as earlier mentioned, our consolation is family closeness. Members of the same family have been close in a way they had hoped for, and only God knows what is good for us”.
If the mosques and churches are the best example, then they’re first to close their doors and prevent worshipers from entering in respect for the decisions of concerned authorities working tirelessly for us, he added.
Regarding the church’s position, Father Bijoul said, “Like any other party or institution that closed its doors in compliance with the decisions of the state and fear for the well-being of the people and those managing the state as a whole, we must cooperate with the wise leaders. This is the least we can offer, so we advised on holding the mass and other meetings online to calm souls”.
He explained that His Holiness, Pope Tawadros, made the prayer of the most important days of the year with very few numbers to set an example to other Churches worldwide, which gladly followed the example of His Holiness.
From the Monastery of Anba Bishoy Al-Amer in Wadi Al-Natrun in Egypt: I congratulate you on the advent of the blessed month of Ramadan. May God restore the blessing, good and peace of the occasion, said Bishop Bijoul, adding “it is the first Ramadan I am spending outside Kuwait and I share with my brothers the joy of this blessed month.”