AJC Deplores Coptic Pope's Comments on Jews

June 15, 2005
New York - The American Jewish Committee today deplored the hostile comments about Jews and Israel made by Pope Shenoudah, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, during his visit to Jordan.

Pope Shenoudah, according to press reports, said he encourages dialogue with Muslims and other Christians, "but not with the Jews," adding that "not until Jerusalem is freed from the Israeli presence will the Orthodox Coptic Church go there."

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of interreligious affairs, condemned Shenoudah's "hostile prejudicial comment against the Jewish people in the strongest terms and called on Christian leaders to communicate their own disapproval of Pope Shenoudah's sentiments."

Contrary to Shenoudah's reported comment about Jerusalem, the Coptic Church in Jerusalem is an active presence in the religious life of the city, recognized and protected by the laws of the State of Israel guaranteeing freedom of religious worship to all.
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