AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate: priests must not make electoral propaganda

Friday, 16 May 2014

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - To all the Copt priests of Alexandria explicit provision was given not to directly support candidates for the coming elections, limiting the role of the Church to an awareness campaign on the importance of participating in the political life of the country and not to boycott the polls. This was reported to local sources, by Father Royce Morcos, a spokesman for the Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria. In concrete, the priests have been urged not to give voting instructions to the faithful and not to receive candidates in the individual Churches and parishes.
All have been suggested to express the participation of the ecclesial communities in such a critical moment experienced by the country especially through prayer for peace and prosperity of Egypt. In this way the general guidelines already expressed by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II take concrete form, who had recently stressed that the Church must not take sides with any candidate in the Egyptian presidential elections next May 25 to 26. "I ask every citizen, Christian or Muslim", said Pope Tawadros in an interview published on Sunday, May 4th in the Catholic weekly Hamel Egyptian el-Resale "to read the electoral program of each candidate and choose who you want as President". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 16/05/2014)