In an official message to the Coptic Orthodox community around the world, President Donald Trump, joined by First Lady Melania Trump, extend their best wishes for the upcoming Global Coptic Day on June 1, 2019.
The statement, dated June 1, 2019 and issued on White House stationery, reads in full as follows:
“I send my warmest greeting to the Coptic Orthodox community as they celebrate the inaugural Global Coptic Day.
For centuries, the Coptic Orthodox Church has been an integral part of the faith community. As June 1, 2019, marks the first Global Coptic Day, it is my hope that today provides a renewed sense of purpose for the millions of Coptic Christians in the Middle East and around the world.
Earlier this year, the Cathedral of the Nativity in Cairo, the largest church in the Middle East, opened its doors to those seeking God’s love and mercy. As we commemorate this important milestone for members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, we also honor those who have been lost due to religious persecution and violence. My Administration will always defend religious liberties and work to ensure that people of all faiths are free to live and worship according to their conscience and faith.
Melania joins me in wishing all Coptic Orthodox Christians a momentous celebration filled with joy. May God bless you.”
(Signed Donald J. Trump)
“We are extremely grateful to President Trump and the First Lady for their touching words of celebration,” says Nader Anise, Global Coptic Day Co-Founder. “Despite his extremely busy schedule, the President found the time to recognize this special day, as well as the Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the world’s oldest Christian churches. We are elated and deeply thankful to you, Mr. President and First Lady Melania Trump. We also thank every member of the Administration who helped move this statement through the necessary channels.”
Prior to commencing the Global Coptic Day initiative, receiving the blessing of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II was an imperative and necessary step. Anise states, “If His Holiness hadn’t given his blessing, there would be no Global Coptic Day. However, when I met with His Holiness on November 20, 2018, in the St. Bishoy Monastery, in the Egyptian desert, His Holiness was engaged and enthusiastic about the day and said the idea was a very good one and encouraged us to continue doing what we were doing. The love and generosity His Holiness Pope Tawadros has shown us is beyond words. Pope Tawadros truly is a father who always wants what’s best for his children.”
Spearheading, directing and providing counsel every step of the way for Global Coptic Day (and continues to do so) is His Grace Bishop Youssef, Bishop of the Southern United States. His Grace was instrumental in all aspects of the architecture of Global Coptic Day. Truly, without His Grace Bishop Youssef, Global Coptic Day would never have gone beyond the idea stage. We cannot thank His Grace enough for the love, support and leadership he constantly provides. Additionally, Bishop Youssef wisely added “Global” to the words Coptic Day and was the one who chose June 1st to coincide with the Feast of the Entry of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Family into Egypt.
We would also like to offer a heartfelt thanks to George A. Sorial, who worked tirelessly to bring Global Coptic Day to the attention of the Trump Administration and to facilitate our efforts. The countless hours he spent were indeed worth it.