Adel Azer Bestavros (1924–2005) was an Egyptian lawyer and a preacher and scholar of the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church.
Born in Alexandria to a distinguished lawyer, Bestavros studied law at the University of Fouad the First (now the Alexandria University.) His suspended doctoral work in international law at the University of Glasgow following the death of his father. Back in Alexandria, Bestavros took charge of his father’s law practice, which he kept until his retirement fifty years later in 1999. He served as a lawyer of Egypt’s Supreme Court, taught international maritime law, and helped draft the maritime laws of the Arab-Gulf states.
Bestavros was also a preacher and scholar of the Christian Coptic Orthodox Church. For over fifty years, he gave sermons that were renowned for his extensive use of the Holy Scriptures. His discourses were influenced by the writings of Early Church Fathers, most notably Saint Athanasius, Saint Augustine, and Saint John Chrysostom, in addition to contemporary Christian writers such as C. S. Lewis and Billy Graham. Bestavros also served on the councils of many churches in Alexandria.
President Anwar el-Sadat’s secret service police arrested Bestavros in September 1981 as part of the broader detention of prominent Coptic Church’s leaders. Imprisoned for five months in several jails and prison camps in Cairo, Bestavros wrote some of his most precious spiritual reflections.
Beware of heartless knowledge, of artificial piety, and of dogmatic religiosity… Beware of it all!
Patience with others is love,
Patience with self is hope,
Patience with God is faith.