Mourning the loss of Pope Shenouda III
Mister Speaker, on March 17th, the world lost a great spiritual leader, His Holiness Pope Shenouda III.
I rise today to join the millions of Coptic Christians in mourning his death. This past Sunday, St. Mary Coptic Church in East Brunswick, New Jersey held a very moving memorial service for the Pope.
An estimated one thousand mourners gathered in the cathedral, while a thousand more listened to the service in nearby rooms. There was an out pouring of grief from people of all faiths. Leaders from many religions and sects were in attendance to pay homage to the Pope, including His Grace Bishop David, the Bishop of the Archdiocese of North America.
As we mourn the loss of a great leader and purveyor of faith and religious tolerance, we remember and embrace all that the Pope has done for the Coptic community in Egypt and around the world.
The beloved leader of the Coptic Christian church has provided immensurable contributions to further promote tolerance and interfaith dialogue in Egypt and serves as an example of how communities of different faiths can live in harmony.
As Egypt continues its transition, Egyptian leaders must work together to uphold the rights of all religious communities in Egypt and end discrimination.
Thank you, I yield back.