Minya (Agenzia Fides) - The collective "mission" of a large group of imam linked to al Azhar – the biggest theological center of Sunni Islam - and Coptic priests begins today, who for a few days will visit together the schools in the Egyptian province of Minya to meet the students and promote the culture of encounter and of peace during conferences and debates, enhancing it as the basis of peaceful social and religious coexistence. The initiative, supported by the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Ahmad al-Tayyeb and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, aims to strengthen the fabric of national solidarity and to promote mutual tolerance based on shared values, starting with compassion and solidarity towards fellow citizens in need.
"The meetings in schools - says to Agenzia Fides Anba Botros Fahim Awad Hanna, Coptic Catholic Archbishop of Minya - is held under the auspices of the "House of the Egyptian family", the inter-religious body created years ago by the Great Imam of Al Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch and revitalized in recent times as a tool to prevent and mitigate sectarian conflicts, in a time when the upsurge of sectarianism fundamentalist seemed to endanger national unity. In all there are 40 Imams and priests, and all serve in our region. A similar initiative already took place a few weeks ago in some schools in Cairo". The program aims to gradually involve schools in other areas of the Country affected – such as the province of Minya - by sectarian conflicts. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 22/04/2015)