The Associated Press contacted His Grace Bishop Serapion to find out the Coptic Christians’ opinion about the denigrating film, “Innocence of Muslims”, who sparked lots of protests. His Grace condemned the movie which was produced by a member of the Coptic Christian Church, as well as the acts of violence that have taken place against the U.S. ambassador to Libya and other Americans.
The term ‘Coptic Christian’ was frequently heard in the media in the past days. One of the members of the congregation was related to the production of the movie “Innocence of Muslims” which led to the assassination of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and several other Americans. As a result, reporters at the Associated Press called the representative of the Coptic Christian Church to get more answers about their community.
According to the declaration of His Grace Bishop Serapion, Coptic Christians belong to the Coptic Christian Church of Alexandria, one of the largest congregations in Egypt. The Church used to be a member of the Oriental Orthodox religions, but they got separated after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 because their Christological theology no longer corresponded to the one of the Easter Orthodox Church. The history of the Coptic Christian Church began in the 19th century, so the language that is used during the liturgical services contains elements used by Egypt’s pharaohs.
The Coptic Church lost its popularity with the passing of the centuries as it is no longer considered a major religion in Egypt. Only 10 percent of the country’s population has adhered to the beliefs of this community. In America, there are around 300,000 Coptic Christians in New York, New Jersey, Boston and Los Angeles.
Bishop Serapion told reporters that Nakoula Basseley, the Coptic Christian involved in the production of the anti-Muslim movie, called him on Thursday morning to let him know that he had nothing to do with the film. Serapion, however, claims Nakoula was never a dedicated member of the religious community as he was absent at the recent sermons.
Serapion was just as disappointed by the movie, regardless of Nakoula’s declarations. He felt sorry for the American officials who were killed in the attack, but reminded everyone that it is unfair to criticize the entire Muslim community because of the acts of terrorism carried out by fanatics.