AFRICA/EGYPT - The Coptic Church complains of persecution and discrimination

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - While the Egyptian Coptic Church is preparing to elect its new Pope, Kamil Seddiq, the Millet Council Secretary (Al-Maglis al-Milli), the body in charge of the administrative affairs of the Church, launches the alarm concerning violence and discrimination against its faithful.
"The Bible was burned and the officials did not move. It is time President Morsy proved that he is the President of all Egyptians through his deeds, not his words," Seddiq said, according to a report in the newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. According to Seddiq, after the revolution on January 25, 2011, discrimination and sectarian violence against Copts both in education and in the media have increased. Sporadic sectarian bouts were reported in the month of October in Alexandria, Dahshur and Rafah. On Sunday, October 28 five Copts were injured in violent interfaith clashes near a church in the south of Cairo, which exploded when some Muslim extremists tried to prevent Copts to go to mass.
"We were faced with intransigence every time we wanted to build a church," Seddiq added, hoping that "the new Pope establishes good relations with the state."
The new Pope, who succeeds Shenouda III who died in March, will be decided on November 4 by a threesome of names voted on 29 October by 2400 Priests, members of the community and lay faithful. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/10/2012)