Pope Tawadros II inaugurated Sunday the first Coptic church in Kyoto, Japan, the church of Mary and Marmorkos, during his short visit, which is considered the first of its kind of an Egyptian patriarch, according to a statement from the church.
The prayer of inauguration was attended by a number of Coptic bishops, including Daniel the Bishop of Sydney in Australia, where Japan is affiliated to—in accordance with the Coptic Church’s traditions—in addition to the Egyptian ambassador to Japan Ismail Khairat.
On Saturday, during his speech after arriving at Osaka Airport, the pope praised the history of the Japanese people and its love to peace and renaissance, especially after World War II. He also thanked the Japanese government and the Egyptian ambassador to Japan for their efforts in establishing the new church, which will accept all people, regardless of their nationality or ideology.
“This visit is an expression of love in the name of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church. With arms wide open, the church is a mother that does not consider geographical borders,” Tawadros said.
He also pointed out that Japanese projects in Egypt are significant, expressing his hope for Japanese schools in Egypt to change the shape of education in the country.
According to the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Egyptian community in Japan is very small, with only 350 students pursuing postgraduate degrees.