AFRICA/EGYPT - Positions of the Coptic Orthodox Church against political exploitation as part of the campaign for legislative elections

Friday, 6 November 2020 middle east   oriental churches   politics   secularism   elections

Sohag (Agenzia Fides) - Within the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of al Balayna there are people who are making political propaganda claiming to have had, from ecclesiastical authorities, the task of suggesting voters which candidate to vote for in the current legislative elections.
"However, this has no basis and the Archdiocese has never given anyone such a mandate. We abide by the instructions of Pope Tawadros and we simply encourage voters to exercise their right to vote, without expressing any indication to vote in favor of individual candidates". This is a clear warning against political exploitation that the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of Al Balayna, in the Egyptian governorate of Sohag disseminated, on the advice of Bishop Wissa, while the citizens of this territory see the moment approaching to take part in the complex process of voting within the framework of the legislative elections 2020. The Church - reads a statement released by the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese - "has no provisions to give in favor of any specific political entity, and simply invites everyone to cast their vote in favor of the candidate he considers the best".
The alarm against political exploitation issued by the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of al Balanya is no exception. Other Bishops and dioceses, throughout Egypt, have also relaunched the choice of equidistance from candidates and Parties running in the political elections that had been indicated by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate with a certain vehemence. In recent days, Anba Angelos, Coptic Orthodox Bishop of Shubra, in the district of Cairo, together with the diocesan assembly of priests, has also issued a statement to warn all militants and propagandists from spreading "false statements" on the electoral support offered by the Coptic Church Orthodox to candidates or political parties.
The ballot for the election of members of the Egyptian House of Representatives according to the various stages planned in the various areas of the country is expected to conclude on 8 November. In the previous parliamentary elections of 2015 – according to CoptsToday - 36 of the 568 seats available had been assigned to Coptic Orthodox candidates. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 6/11/2020)