In an effort to promote greater international recognition of the Coptic community and to introduce this ancient, Orthodox Church to the world, 1 June 2019 has been designated to mark the inaugural celebration of the Global Coptic Day, which will continue on an annual basis.
The idea for this day of acknowledgement was first presented back in October 2018, when Cairo-born Nader Anise, Founder of the Coptic American Chamber of Commerce approached Bishop Youssef, the Bishop of the Southern US, who approved of and endorsed the idea. Only a month later, during his visit to Egypt, Anise received the blessing of Pope Tawadros at the St. Bishoy Monastery in Wadi El Natroun, allowing for Global Coptic Day to become a reality.
Anise and Bishop Youssef presented Pope Tawadros with an icon of the Holy Family’s Flight to Egypt, which is intended to be symbolic of Global Coptic Day, since the feast of the Holy Family’s entry into Egypt coincides with this date. The icon was created by the prominent iconographer Osama Moris, who is known for his gold gilding technique.
Global Coptic Day is equally intended to remedy two societal concerns, the former being an overindulgence in social media, according to Pope Tawadros, the latter a lack of Coptic presence in media and society more generally.
As such, the primary method encouraged for celebrating this day and informing non-Copts about Copts, is via social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the use of the hashtag #GlobalCopticDay.
In addition, the event’s official website has encouraged participants to fill their day with whichever of the following P.R.A.I.S.E. activities are feasible.
P(ray): Dedicate all your prayers on June 1st to the peace of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt and all around the world.
R(ead): Start a tradition of reading a story of a Coptic saint or martyr to your young children every Global Coptic Day, thereby creating memories that will last a lifetime. Of course, the R can also stand for “Reading” (the Bible), including the verses related to the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15).
A(cts of Mercy): Take the time to visit the sick or feed the hungry, give to the poor, clothe those in need or visit the imprisoned. If you contact your parish priest, you can coordinate with him.
I(nvite): Take this opportunity to invite friends or co-workers to attend one of our Coptic services, whether a Vespers, Liturgy, Bible study or other gathering.
S(ervice): Provide whatever service might be needed in your community, neighborhood or local parish.
E(ducate): On June 1st, use social media to educate the public about what the Coptic Church is all about. Share beneficial articles, videos, links, photos and anything else that would bring the Coptic Church closer to people’s hearts and minds. The E can also stand for “Evangelize,” which the entire day attempts to do.