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Intervention of Mons. Youssef ABOUL EL KHER, Bishop of Sohag of the Copts (EGYPT)



I Introduction
At the level of all eparchies and ecclesial educational institutions, a common effort has been made in the concern for the preparation of catechists on a personal and everyday-life level, as well as at the Church level, with the goal to take on the responsibility of the service of catechesis.
II Different domains of work in the field of service for religious education
1. Religious teaching institutions
In all the eparchies, institutes for religious formation have been opened.
2. A Commission charged by the Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops is working to prepare and publish a single book for religious education for all the Catholic confessions in Egypt.
3. A priest and a lay person from the Catholic Church participated in the Committe created by the Egyptian Ministry of Education and Teaching to develop the methods of Christian teaching.
4. The General Secretariate of Catholic Schools is working to follow and train teachers for schools that depend on it and that have the responsibility for Christian education.

III The challenges and problems
1. The financial situations worry families, considered as the first foundation and place where the seed of faith grows.
2. The means of modern technology and information attract the minds of children and youths and lead to a change in the scale of Gospel values.
3. Religious and confessional fanaticism as well as many other temptations attract the Catholic minority. Also, confessional difficulties centered on liturgical questions, like that of a new baptism and the impediment to communion, do not focus on what is essential and create scandal and dispersal.
4. The superficiality of the scholastic program and not seeing the incompetence of teachers of religious education where teachers of other subjects teach religious education voluntarily.
IV The future perspective
1. Greater unification of efforts in the service for catechesis on all levels and perseverance in the writing and publication of unified books.
2. Openness of heart and freedom from religious and confessional fanaticism provide the opportunity to create chances of working together and to focus on what unites us.
3. Caring for youth and accompanying them spiritually and helping them to cope with today’s changes, starting from the Gospel values.
“Each day, with one heart, they regularly went to the Temple... they praised God and were looked up to by everyone” (Acts 2:46-47).

[00131-02.02] [IN093] [Original text: Arabic]




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