Father Samir Khalil Samir, is a Jesuit priest and specialist in Islam, and a professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies in Rome. An Egyptian himself, born in Cairo, he was recently interviewed by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in light of the forthcoming visit of the Pope to Egypt. During the interview he spoke about his views on the papal visit, on the importance of dialogue between Islam and Christianity and the fear of seeing the Middle East emptied of Christians. Below are some extracts from the interview.
Below is the testimony Father Jacques Mourad gave last month at an ACN event in Paris.
By Fr Jacques Mourad
How did I – taken hostage by a group of jihadists, imprisoned for almost five months, frequently threatened with beheading, and after witnessing the abduction and imprisonment of 250 of my parishioners – respond to the experience of my liberation? Was there any room for love in this experience?
In an interview with the Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Robert Sarah speaks about the contribution of the Church in Africa to the Universal Church, about Islam in Africa and the world, about relations between the Church and politics and the challenges facing the Church in Africa. And he insists that "the Church needs unity of faith, unity of doctrine, unity of moral teaching. It needs the primacy of the Pope."
The wave of violence that is currently tearing apart the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues to affect the Church as well. However, there is still hope for peace. Representatives of the recently attacked seminary of Malole (Kasai-Central) ask for prayers for peace in the country and for solidarity so that they may return to their work. The Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) plans to support the rebuilding efforts as soon as peace is restored.