AFRICA/EGYPT - Coptic Patriarch Tawadros: the Church has a spiritual and not a political mission

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The Coptic Church is a reality of spiritual nature that serves the entire Egyptian society, without exception, and carries out that service without claiming direct political roles, but merely exercising its ecclesial mission. This is what Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II said, speaking in a theater parish in Cairo. In his speech, Pope Tawadros intentionally repeated that the Coptic Church does not offer direct and personal support to any candidate, and also its social, charitable and educational activities are all carried out in relation to its mission, to the benefit of salvation of all.
The largest African country is preparing for parliamentary elections to be held starting from next October 17. The deadline for the submission of candidates and lists expire in coming days, and in view of this period, the climate of pre-election mobilization increases. In the last hours, even Coptic Naguib Gabriel, leader of the Egyptian Federation for Human Rights, presented the documentation required to participate in elections to the competent bodies. The presence of Coptic Christians in the list of the Salafi al-Nour Party has been confirmed. In recent months, in response to the controversy raised by the press, some leaders of Islamic formation clarified that the inclusion of Christians in their electoral lists is a "necessary act", mandated by the electoral law, and is within the constitutional pre-requisites to which political parties have to comply in order to be admitted to the next parliamentary elections.
It has been announced that even Coptic activist Nader El-Serafy, a member of the Ghad El-Thawra political party and co- founder of "Copts 38", the lay movement founded in 2011 to demand the restoration of canonical dispositions established by the Coptic Orthodox Church in 1938 - and later repealed – that admitted 9 conditions under which divorce was granted to Christian Copts, has chosen to join the lists of the Conservative Party. The Coptic Church has never explicitly condemned the choice of Christians who decide to join Islamist parties. The electoral law in force establishes that Coptic Christians are to be represented by at least 24 candidates in the lists of the Party. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 09/09/2015)