Egypt: presidency, Half Coptic bishops support Islamist

Prelates are split on support for moderate Fotouh

12 March, 17:37

(ANSAmed) - ROME, MARCH 12 - The Egyptian Coptic Orthodox bishops are split on the choice of candidate to support in the presidential elections of May 23-24. According to the newspaper Al-Shorouk, during a meeting on the subject with the Coptic Pope Shenouda III, 12 of the 22 bishops decided to support the moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, while others refused to vote for him, as a former member the Muslim Brotherhood.

Coptic Christians make up about 10% of the 85 million Egyptians. During the meeting with Shenouda, the bishops examined the election platforms of Fotouh and Amr Moussa, former secretary of the Arab League. Fotouh left the Muslim Brotherhood when they decided not to present their own candidate for the presidency. He is considered a moderate Islamist, who has always called for freedom of religion, supporting the right of Muslims to convert to Christianity.

During the meeting, according to Al-Shorouk, the pope and the bishops also spoke about the representation of Copts in the Constituent Assembly that will draft the next Constitution Assembly, to be nominated by parliament on March 23. Several prelates complained that the Church has so far presented only one candidate for the Constituent Assembly and called for more representation for Christians. (ANSAmed).

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