Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – Copt Orthodox Patriach Tawadros II has announced that he has decided to suspend his weekly Wednesday afternoon public catechesis in Cairo due to growing tension following fresh attacks on Coptic communities in various parts of the country. The announcement and the motivation were made public by Papa Tawadros himself at the end of his last public catechesis, the Primate of the Copt Orthodox Church added that in the coming weeks he will devote his time mainly to offering prayers for the families affected the violence.
This latest series of sectarian clashes has it epicentre in the territory of Minya, where during a fight on Sunday 17 July a Coptic Christian was killed by Muslim assailants. On Thursday, 21 July, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al Sisi appealed for religious harmony, promising that the perpetrators of the sectarian violence would be brought to justice. However, since the President’s appeal more sectarian attacks have been reported in the village of Beni Suef, where four Copt Christian homes were attacked by turbulent Muslims who accused the Copts of wanting to build a church without permission.
In the past (see Fides 12/9/2013) Patriarch Tawadros suspended his public weekly teachings for about ten weeks, in the Summer of 2013, marked with episodes of violence – including attacks on dozens of churches – which devastated the country following the removal of Islamist President Morsi. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 25/7/2016).