Arabian news reports have shared photos and information about what is believed to be the first ever Coptic church mass conducted in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
Cairo Scene reported on a translation from Al Watan, which explained that Egyptian Bishop Ava Morkos of Shobra El Kheima conducted the historic mass. Morkos had been invited by Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman, and was allowed to bring over the necessary items from Cairo to perform the Mass.
The ceremony was held over two days in the house of a Coptic resident in Saudi Arabia, with several Coptic families invited to attend.
Morkos is said to have also met with Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Muhammad bin Abdul Karim, Egyptian ambassador Osama al-Nugali, and other Egyptian representatives in Riyadh, discussing the fostering of relationships with the Coptic Church.
Persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern noted that the Egyptian bishop recieved the invitation back in March following a previous meeting with Mohammed bin Salman.
“The Christian population in Egypt is considered a state secret by the authorities, but many estimate that Egypt has the largest concentration of Christians in the region. Most belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church. The harsh living conditions which they are subjected to have forced many to seek employment outside of the country, including in Saudi Arabia,” ICC pointed out.
“Crown Prince bin Salman has made several gestures towards foreign religious figures within the past year. However, he has taken no steps to improve the religious freedom situation for Saudis.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov