CCRF Interview with His Grace Bishop Youssef

The Coptic Christian Relief Fund (CCRF) Interview with His Grace Bishop Youssef.

This April, Tracy Miller and Sherif Latif of the CCRF were fortunate enough to be able to sit down with His Grace Bishop Youssef at the Coptic Church in Colleyville Texas for a fascinating and wide-ranging interview. Formerly a monk of El-Souryan (‘the Syrian’) monastery in the Nitrian Desert in Egypt, Bishop Youssef oversees the Southern Coptic Diocese of the United States, which contains thirty-seven Coptic churches from Arizona to Florida. In addition to his deep understanding of Coptic spirituality, he has seen first-hand how Egyptian Christians are persecuted in their own country. In this hour-long interview, Tracy and Sherif asked the bishop about the Coptic Church, his life as a Coptic Christian in Egypt, and the challenges facing Christians both in the Middle East and closer to home in the United States.

Interview Transcript

Click the question to see the discussion with His Grace Bishop Youssef.

Thank you for joining us, Your Grace. Perhaps you could begin by telling us about the Coptic Orthodox Church in America?

Are you seeing new families coming to your church?

When did you first feel called to serve God?

I work with an organization called CCRF, which stands for the Coptic Christian Relief Fund. It was founded by family and friends of Medhat G. Latif. You knew Dr. Latif and his family, didn’t you?

You mentioned that the church was started by St. Mark. When exactly was the church established?

That’s a beautiful picture. How big is the church today?

Have the Christians in Egypt always been persecuted or is this something new?

The term “the Church” takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not just that place you go every week…

He needs our prayers.

We live in America and we are not experiencing persecution. Why is that?

How so?

Are those idols?

It is very smart and stealthy persecution.

How should we pray? What should we pray in this situation?

Some people would say yes, it is absolutely true that there is no absolute truth.

I know you are burdened for everyone. But let me ask you, are you more burdened for the Christians being persecuted in Egypt or are you more burdened for what’s going on in the US?

Conclusion of the interview with His Grace Bishop Youssef