The ways to address atheists is through dialogue, whether at home or in church, and patience,Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church said at a sermon on Wednesday.
If a recalcitrant man deals with someone who loves him, he will change, the pope added.
The pope said when man wants to rebel against the authority of God, he also rebels against himself. This is when humans do not accept themselves and escape to crime or addiction, according to Tawadros.
There are always waves of atheism, Pope Tawadros continued, adding that some philosophies that emerged 100 years ago paved the way for atheism, trying to proliferate in every possible way through classes like atheists and existentialists.
Pope Francis I called earlier on atheists to unite with believers of all religions for peace in December, celebrating his first Christmas as the pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
He also sent an open letter to founder of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica Eugenio Scalfari in September, stating that God’s mercy includes those “who turn to him with a sincere and contrite heart,” in which case the issue for unbelievers “lies in his or her conscience.”
In a papal announcement in June, Pope Francis said: “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists.”
Additional reporting by Michael Fares.