AFRICA/EGYPT - The Bishops express their appreciation for the new Constitution

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The new Egyptian Constitution, which was approved with a majority of 98 % of the vote in the referendum held on 14 and 15 January, was greeted with satisfaction by the Coptic Catholic Bishops .
According to a report by Aid to the Church in Need sent to Fides Agency, based on interviews with Bishops Kyrillos William Samaan, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Assiut, Antonios Aziz Mina, Bishop of Guizeh ( Giza ) and Joannes Zakaria, Bishop of Luxor, the Bishops expressed their appreciation for the fact that the new Constitution guarantees the fundamental rights of all Egyptians, regardless of race, religion, gender and age.
In particular, it emphasizes that the Constitution, unlike that of 2012, provides rights for women, children and the disabled. The Bishops also confirmed that the rights of Christians were well represented in the new Constitution.
Bishops Samaan and Zakaria underline that the Constitution requires Parliament to rapidly draft a new law that regulates the building of new churches, which until now has been very slow,.
The Preamble of the Constitution states that the Egyptian people "greets the Virgin Mary and her Infant protecting them during their pilgrimage in Egypt, expressing respect and appreciation for the Christian religion".
Article 50 recognizes the Egyptian civilization in its various components, making reference to Ancient Egyptians, Coptic and Islamic, as a "national and human wealth that the State is committed to preserve and maintain". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/01/2014)