• 07:11
  • Wednesday ,12 June 2019

Coptic Church and the digital revolution

Kamal Zakher Moussa

Article Of The Day


Wednesday ,12 June 2019

Coptic Church and the digital revolution

The Coptic Orthodox Church is considered one of the oldest traditional churches, which adopts the old patterns, which extends in its roots to the first church, so it is called an abbey church. This gives it the status of originality in believes and practice and guarantees greater stability. It is a living being, composed of human beings who carried these beliefs and agreed on the system of practices that they translate in their worships. Therefore, it is called the Church of the People. In this way, she seeks to combine the originality and the contemporary to reach her mission, which is the proclamation of God s love for mankind in what she calls the measure of salvation by the dedication of love.

Hence, she tries to fix her way according to her beliefs. The ecumenical councils came to achieve that goal all over the world against currents of hatred, division and disintegration.
However, the living reality takes us away from this utopian ideal situation. The Church lives in the midst of a world of conflict and crisis, with puts heavy burdens on it, and it carries a double responsibility to come out with its own system of values according to the saying of Christ: I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
One of the stormy challenges is the information development represented by the digital revolution, and the resulting leaps in the means of communication and the transfer of knowledge, which goes beyond  prohibition and censorship with a great ability to influence.
In light of this, the Church has declared through its Synod of Bishops adopting the orientation of the transition from the individual to the institution in the management of its administration realizing the changes that are sweeping the world. It is no more a patriarchal society.
Those who come close to the Church, realize that such orientation reaches education and monasticism with its documented references aiming to achieve its first goal to declare the message of salvation and joy for humans.
The transition from the individual to the institution has become a necessity, governed by the rules of the modern management science. We find written references emphasizing the importance of the administration in several places. In Exodus, we find a story about Moses and his father in law to organize leaders of the people to fifties and hundreds and only escalate the unsolved problems to Moses. Jesus Christ asked the disciples to divide the people in fifties before he performs the miracle of feeding thousands of people. St. Paul said:  And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.  (1 Corinthians 12: 28)
The transition from the individual to the institution is not an overarching decision, but it takes us back to the original situation of the church leadership depending on clergy and laity. It seems that most of the crises of the last 50 years were the result of one of them taking control and the exclusion of the other party.
This institutional leadership demands a clear strategy and system where  roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and the rule of law is respected. Transparency and provision of information should be guaranteed. This leads us to think about the issue of monasticism and monastic life as the only source so far for the selection of bishops. Are bishops and monasteries able to meet the needs of the Church in a changing world governed by information and knowledge.