AFRICA/EGYPT - Patriarch Tawadros: the invitation to support President al Sisi is not political interference, but "patriotism"

Thursday, 22 September 2016


Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – The invitation to express public support for President Abdel Fattah al Sisi during his visit in New York, by the Coptic Orthodox Church to the faithful residing in the US, does not manifest subordination or interference of the ecclesial reality towards political power, but only expresses an "act of patriotism". This is what Patriarch Tawadros II stresses in a live interview with ONTV channel. The President of Egypt’s visits abroad - insisted the Primate of the Coptic Orthodox Church - aim to "present the new Egypt". During the Tv interview, Pope Tawadros also said that the recent sectarian violence that took place in Upper Egypt's Minya is not a sign that Egypt suffers from sectarian strife. He described Minya as a special case, saying that it suffers from a high population rate, high illiteracy rates and few development projects.
In recent days (see Fides 19/09/2016), Patriarch Tawadros II had issued a message to invite the Egyptian Copts to offer a warm welcome to the Egyptian President during his trip to New York, on the occasion of his participation in the 71st session of the UN general Assembly. After this intervention, 84 intellectuals and professional Copts, including some activists of organizations engaged in the affirmation of civil rights, signed and released a letter criticizing the direct involvement of the Churches present in Egypt in the pro-Sisi mobilization campaigns, denouncing the direct interventions of institutions and religious hierarchies in matters affecting the political balance of the Country as "serious". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 22/09/2016)