(→External Links: Removed "Non-Orthodox" category listing. Abouna Zakaria is a priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church.)
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[[Category:Orthodoxy and Islam]]
[[Category:Orthodoxy and Islam]]
Latest revision as of 17:14, September 15, 2012
Father Zakaria Botros is a Coptic priest from Egypt. He is a controversial figure in that country for his Scriptural studies upon the combined books of Islam. He currently resides in the United States.
Fr. Botros became an ordained Coptic priest in Cairo in the 1950s. Twice authorities jailed him for preaching the gospel to Muslims, once in 1981 for one year, and again in 1989. A judge sentenced him to life in prison but ordered him released on the condition of forced exile: He had to leave Egypt and never return. By that time he had ministered in Cairo for over 30 years but moved to England with his wife, where he ministered in a Coptic church for 11 years before he said he "retired" to begin the television and internet ministry in 2003.
In December 2008 he received the "2008 Daniel of the Year Award" from the conservative evangelical Protestant World (magazine).
In the 1970s Father Botros was quoted to adopt many religious opinions that might be understood as opposing to the teachings of the Coptic Orthodox Church. He replied to that by publishing a book named Orthodoxy is my Denomination. He served in Ezbet Elnakhl a suburb of Greater Cairo, then he was tranferred by Pope Shenouda III to serve in a church in Heliopolis .
The attitude of Father Botros has been a subject of both criticism and admiration by different people and Pope Shenouda III has criticized his style and mentioned that the problem between Botros and the Coptic Church is due to theological opinions of the priest that did not find support in his church..
Using state-of-the art satellite technology to bypass the efforts of Islamic governments to keep the gospel out of their countries, Botros is directly challenging the claims of Muhammad to be a prophet, and the claims of the Qu'ran to be God's word. He systematically deconstructs Muhammad's life, story by story, pointing out character flaws and sinful behavior. He carefully deconstructs the Qu'ran, verse by verse, citing contradictions and inconsistencies. And not only does he explain without apology what he believes is wrong with Islam, he goes on to teach Muslims from the Bible why Jesus loves them and why is so ready to forgive them and adopt them into His family, no matter who they are or what they have done.
He has a ninety-minute television program which is a combination of preaching, teaching and answering questions from often irate callers all over the world. It has become "must see TV" throughout the Muslim world. It is replayed four times a week in Arabic, his native language, on a satellite television network called Al Hayat ("Life TV"). It can be seen in every country in North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, as well as all throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. And not only can it be seen in so many places, it is seen by an estimated fifty million Muslims a day.
At the same time, Botros is getting millions of hits on his multiple web sites in multiple languages. There, Muslims can read his sermons and study through an archive of answers to frequently asked questions. They can also enter a live chat room called "Pal Chat" where they are not only permitted but encouraged to ask their toughest questions to trained on line counselors, many of whom are Muslim converts to Christianity who understand exactly where the questioners are coming from and the struggles they are having.
As a result, Botros - on the air only since 2003 - has practically become a household word in the Muslim world. An Arabic newspaper has named him Islam's "Public Enemy #1." Millions hate him, to be sure, but they are watching. They are listening. They are processing what he is saying and they are talking about him with their friends and family. When Botros challenges Radical clerics to answer his many refutations of Islam and defend the Qu'ran, millions wait to see how the fundamentalists will respond. But they rarely do. They prefer to attack Botros than answer him. Yet, the more the Radicals attack him, the more well-known he becomes. The more well-known he becomes, the more Muslims feel compelled to tune in. And as more Muslims tune in, more are coming to the conclusion that Botros is right and in turn are choosing to become followers of Jesus Christ. Botros estimates at least 1,000 Muslims a month pray to receive Christ with his telephone counselors. Some of them pray to receive Christ live on their air with Botros. And this surely is only the tip of the iceberg, as it represents only those who are able to get through on the jammed phone lines. There simply are not currently enough trained counselors to handle each call.
He does not believe all Muslims are Radicals, but he does believe all Muslims are spiritually lost, and he wants desperately to help them find their way to forgiveness and reconciliation with the God who made them and loves them.
- "Botros’s motive is not to incite the West against Islam, promote “Israeli interests,” or “demonize” Muslims, but to draw Muslims away from the dead legalism of sharia to the spirituality of Christianity. Many Western critics fail to appreciate that, to disempower radical Islam, something theocentric and spiritually satisfying — not secularism, democracy, capitalism, materialism, feminism, etc. — must be offered in its place. The truths of one religion can only be challenged and supplanted by the truths of another. And so Father Zakaria Botros has been fighting fire with fire."
"I believe this is the hand of God," Botros told me. "He is directing me. He shows me what to say. He shows me what to write on the web sites. He is showing me more and more how to use the technology to reach people with his message of redemption." 
- Stuart Robinson and Peter Botross. Defying Death: Zakaria Botross - Apostle to Islam. CityHarvest Publications: Upper Mt Gravatt, Australia. 2008. 152 pp.
- ↑ World Magazine. Broadcast news: COVER STORY: "2008 Daniel of the Year". December 13, 2008.
- ↑ Zakaria Botros at Wikipedia.
- ↑ Ibrahim, Raymond. Zakaria Botros: Fight Fire with Fire. Islam and Christianity. March 27, 2008.
- ↑ Orthodox News. Jihad Watch: Al Qaeda declares Coptic priest Zakaria Botros "one of the most wanted infidels in the world". September 10, 2008.
- Zakaria Botros at Wikipedia.
- Orthodox News. Jihad Watch: Al Qaeda declares Coptic priest Zakaria Botros "one of the most wanted infidels in the world". September 10, 2008.
- Ibrahim, Raymond. Zakaria Botros: Fight Fire with Fire. Islam and Christianity. March 27, 2008.
- World Magazine. Broadcast news: COVER STORY: "2008 Daniel of the Year". December 13, 2008.
- (Father Zakaria's homepage. Includes Spiritual Books, Questions About Faith, Books About Islam -- available for free download).