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VISITING Tonga: Christmas visit from old Christian church

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  • Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
    http://www.matangitonga.to/article/tonganews/visitors/copticTonga19120 5.shtml Matangi Tonga (www.matangitonga.to) Christmas visit from old Christian church 19
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 13, 2006
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      5.shtml

      Matangi Tonga (www.matangitonga.to)

      Christmas visit from old Christian church
      19 Dec 2005, 16:03
      Nuku'alofa, Tonga:


      HG Bishop Suriel in Tonga


      VISITING Tonga for Christmas is His Grace Bishop Suriel of the
      Egyptian Orthodox Church, who arrived on December 14 on a 14-days
      visit.

      While in Nuku'alofa HG Bishop Suriel, who is accompanied by four
      delegates, conducted a Coptic Church service at the Catholic Basilica
      on Friday December 16.

      Bishop Suriel said that on his arrival in Tonga, from the air he was
      very impressed with the lush green land, "with the beautiful palm
      trees, I felt that I was coming to a land full of love and
      friendship."

      The Egyptian Orthodox Church, better known as the Coptic Orthodox
      Church, is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world. It was
      established by the apostle Saint Mark in Alexandria, northern Egypt
      in 55 A.D. - and so it has taken two millennium for a follower of
      Saint Mark and a representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church to land
      in Tonga. The current leader of the church is His Holiness Pope
      Shenouda III, the Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of
      Saint Mark, the 117th successor of Saint Mark, the Evangelist.

      Bishop Suriel said that the church has 12 million members through out
      the world, but most members are in Egypt where they face persecution.
      The worst was in 2000 when 21 members of the church were massacured
      by a fanatical Islamic group.

      HG Bishop Suriel is based in Melbourne, Australia, where he is the
      bishop for Melbourne, Canberra, Tasmania, South and Western
      Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands. They also have
      a church in Fiji.
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