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Statement by the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark of Jersey City On the Murder of 21 Coptic Egyptian Citizens in Libya

For Immediate Release

The Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark of Jersey City condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of twenty-one Coptic Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIS terrorists. We offer our condolences to His Holiness Pope Tawadrous II and to the families of the Martyrs. We also offer our support to the Egyptian government, led by President El-Sisi in taking all necessary measures of adequate response and remedy. We grieve with all Egyptian people for our fellow citizens and children.

This deliberate killing of innocent people is the most recent of many atrocities perpetrated by extremist -affiliated terrorists against the Christians of the region and fills the cup of the cruel and evil actions being taken today by ISIS and the rest of their likes as a direct result of the wrong and misleading view of God and religion.

This heinous act underscores the urgent need for the peaceful teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian faith to be welcomed, considered and promoted in Egypt and all Arab Countries. Christians must have their freedom to worship, build their churches and preach the gospel with liberty and without persecution.

Although this recent act of cowardice and evil resulting in the deaths of 21 young men left the church with a heavy heart, the church will never be shaken by such evil acts. Our church is a church of martyrs with a longstanding history of overcoming persecution in a peaceful manner, namely by fasting and prayer. So once again as we begin the Fast of Great Lent, we fast and pray for the 21 young men, their families, for all Egyptian citizens, for all victims of evil acts, for peace and we entreat our God to protect His people. And as our Lord Jesus Christ taught us, we also pray for those perpetrators of evil “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”(Matthew 5:44,NKJV)

May the Lord protect all of us against all evil.

For donations to help the families of the victims, please donate through our website and under the Description/Memo, enter “Martyrs of Libya”.

For comments and words of comfort, please visit our In Memorial page.

For press comments, please contact Mr. Joseph M. Ghabour, Esq., the Deacon of Public Relations at 201-333-0004. You can find more information about St. Mark’s at: http://SaintMark.com

Reader and Subdeacon Ordinations

H.G. Bishop Karas blessed us on Saturday, January 10th to ordain Readers and Subdeacons. We thank his grace for his love and continued care for St. Mark’s.

Fr. Michail Michail

Repose of Fr. Michail Michail

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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim. 4:7)

On Wednesday, January 7th, 2015, on the day of the Nativity Feast, Rev. Fr. Michail L. Michail departed to the heavenly Jerusalem.

  • Husband of the Reposed Tasoni Nadia Michail
  • Father of Mark & Phoebe Michail
  • Brother of the Reposed Adel Michail
  • Brother of Naim Michail, husband of Zizi Michail, father of Mary Michail Shehata and Anthony Michail
  • Brother of Reda Michail, husband of Deelal, father of Latif, Peter, and Diana Michail
  • Brother of Makram Michail, husband of Laurice Michail, father of Joseph, Mary Ann, and Andrew Michail

The schedule of services will be at
St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church,
427 West Side Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

  • Wake: 7-9 pm
  • Midnight Praises

Friday, January 9th, 2015

  • Liturgy 8-10:30 & Funeral: 10:30-12:30 pm
  • The burial will be at Rosedale Cemetery Linden (1 & 9 South)
  • Third Day Prayers at Bethany hall (861 Bergen Ave, Jersey City)

We uplift our hearts with prayer for the repose of Fr. Michail and the comfort of the beloved and blessed servants Mark and Phoebe.

Psaltos & Deacon Ordinations by HG Bishop Karas

We thank H.G. Bishop Karas for the ordination of Deacons Tadros and Michael in addition to seventy other chanters. May the Lord strengthen and keep the life of His Grace. Photos and the video of the ordinations are available below and also at the church bookstore.

Response to Jersey Journal Articles Regarding St. Abanoub & St. Antonious in Bayonne

The Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark is dismayed by false accusations and misinformation published by the Jersey Journal on October 12th and 13th regarding service at the neighboring St. Abanoub and St. Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church in Bayonne.

The article of October 13th makes an outrageous statement that St. Mark’s is motivated by corruption in order to take over St. Abanoub’s. The truth is that St. Abanoub’s faces administrative, financial, engineering, spiritual and behavioral challenges that require special managerial expertise and spiritual leadership. The protest inside the church with a few  protesters exhibiting unacceptable behavior during a worship service is one of the outcomes of such challenges that need to be addressed. St. Abanoub’s has been the subject of unrest for more than fourteen years with numerous challenges being raised to the late H.H. Pope Shenouda III and H.G. Bishop David, the previous General Bishop of the Archdiocese of North America. Because of these continuing issues and the lack of improvement, H.H. Pope Tawadros II, the current patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church created a committee to review the complaints received. The committee was comprised of H.G. Bishop Karas, the General Bishop of the Archdiocese of North America, Hegumen Rev. Fr. Abraam Sleman, the senior priest of the nearby Coptic Church of St. Mark of Jersey City and one of the most senior priests in New Jersey, and Hegumen Rev. Fr. Moises Boghdady of the Archdiocese of St. Mark in Cedar Grove. The committee presented their findings to H.H. Pope Tawadros and based on these findings His Holiness issued a papal decree reassigning the two priests serving the church and appointing Rev. Fr. Abraam Sleman to manage the administrative and spiritual affairs of the church. Rev. Fr. Abraam was elevated to the rank of Hegumen (Archpriest) in September of 2003 by the Late H.H. Pope Shenouda III. Ecclesiastically, a Hegumen can oversee the affairs of many churches.

Eight months ago, H.H. Pope Tawadros requested of Fr. Abraam to manage the affairs of the church.  In obedience to His Holiness Pope Tawadros, Fr. Abraam accepted the assignment and began to manage the affairs of the church of St. Abanoub.  Fr. Abraam shortly thereafter resigned, citing lack of cooperation. Afterwards, the Hegumen Rev.  Fr. Moises Boghdady was appointed to oversee the church and he also resigned for the very same reason. Alleging that St. Mark’s Church, Fr. Abraam or other priests of the church are attempting a “take-over” has no basis or merit.  Fr. Abraam agreed to take over the responsibility of managing St. Abanoub’s Church out of insistence by and obedience to H.H. Pope Tawadros despite St. Mark’s Church of Jersey City being in the midst of the massive construction project of its Community Center–a project that requires the full attention of its senior priest. St Abanoub’s Church is in dire need of the support of a well established church such as St. Mark’s, with all what God has granted her. It is disappointing that the Jersey Journal would publish such a claim without first requesting a comment from St. Mark’s Church, which it had already interviewed for its previous article on October 10th.

The article of October 12th and the headline of the October 13th article claim that Fr. Abraam Sleman arrived to St. Abanoub’s with a police escort which is patently false.  Fr. Abraam arrived at St. Abanoub’s at 8:00am on Sunday, October 12th in his personal car without any police escort. Protesters had requested a permit to demonstrate outside St. Abanoub’s Church and based on that the Bayonne Police Department provided one police car that was parked outside of church. The police car drove around patrolling the church. The church did not request police presence ahead of time. This simple fact, that was the headline of the Jersey Journal’s article, could have easily been verified with the Bayonne Police Department instead of taking a one-sided statement from a protester, whose self-serving statement only worked to inflame an already volatile situation.   The Bayonne Police Department was then later called by local church parishioners when a small minority of protesters did not demonstrate outside church but rather entered the church shouting and screaming, interrupted the worship service and verbally assaulted clergy and other congregants.

As a well respected newspaper, the Jersey Journal is responsible for its news reporting and should have, at the very least, verified its statements before making them in the print and online editions.  Furthermore, the Jersey Journal, by printing such blatant lies, have served to defame St. Mark’s Church and its Reverend Father.  St. Mark’s Church is the first Coptic Church in the Western Hemisphere whose reputation is untarnished.  Such reckless reporting serves to damage said reputation.  It’s one thing to quote an individual.  It’s a completely different thing to state facts that you knew, or should have known, to be false.   A correction is hereby demanded and we request that any future reporters fact-check their allegations in order to not further inflame an already sensitive situation and to not defame members of this community.

St. Mark’s Church, its clergy, deacons, servants and congregation pray for the peace and safety of its sister church, St. Abanoub and St. Antonious.  We pray that the media exercise wisdom in dealing with this matter.

For press comments, please contact Mr. Joseph M. Ghabour, Esq.,  the Deacon of Public Relations at 732 705 7105 or ghabour@gmail.com.   You can find more information about St. Mark’s at: http://SaintMark.com

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New Building Foundation Completed

With the grace of God, we’re glad to let you know that we thank God that He has completed the foundation of the new building. The steel frame of the three floors is in the process of manufacturing and shortly will be delivered to the site for installation. More prayers and support are needed.
To Donate:
Write your check payable to:
Coptic Orthodox Church of St Mark
PO Box 4397, Jersey City, NJ 07304
Online by Credit Card:

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Demolition has started

St. Mark’s congratulates all on the start of the construction of St. Mark Parish Center. You can follow the progress of the work by live cam. The demolition is scheduled to last for there weeks.

For safety reasons, no one is allowed to enter the project site or be in contact with workers on site. Please continue to pray and to support this project for the glory of God’s name.

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