Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - Religious leaders, in the current historical phase, have a key role in spreading in all Arab countries, the principle of citizenship, and reject false interpretations of Holy Books and religious teachings used by extremist and terrorist organizations as an ideological tool of their power projects. This is how Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi expressed his view on the need to "renew religious discourse" in the Middle East, as an antidote to sectarian conflicts that disrupt large areas of the Middle East. On Thursday, March 2 he held talks with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai, and Chaldean Patriarch, Louis Raphael I Sako, who are in Cairo to attend the Conference on "Freedom, citizenship, diversity and integration" conference organized at the Sunni University of al Azhar in Cairo and the Council of Muslim scholars (based in Abu Dhabi) (see Fides 02/03/2017).
During the talks with the two Eastern Catholic Patriarchs, President al Sisi, referring to the situation in Egypt, said he does not identify Egyptian Muslims and Christians as members of a religious "majority" and "minority", underlining the need for all members of the Egyptian nation to be treated without discrimination, in respect of full equality founded on the principle of citizenship. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 03/03/2017)