Egypt:Sisi attends Christmas Coptic mass,first for president

Head of State visits mass of Christian minority

07 January, 12:48

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visits Coptic Pope on the occasion of Christmas Eve Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visits Coptic Pope on the occasion of Christmas Eve

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was the first Egyptian president to attend a Coptic Christmas Eve mass last night in a step in favor of the Christian minority in Egypt, official Egyptian news agency Mena reports. The ceremony took place at the Coptic-Orthodox cathedral in Cairo.

    Sisi was welcomed by Coptic Orthodox Church Patriarch Tawadros II and enthusiastically greeted by worshippers at the mass, the news agency reports.

    ''Rais'' Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in 2011, used to simply send a representative to the traditional mass on the eve of the Coptic Christmas and the same was done by Islamist Mohamed Morsi in the only year during which he served as head of State before being ousted in the summer of 2013.

    ''Coptic Christians will build their country together, without any discrimination'', said Sisi in his appearance at the ceremony, which took place in the cathedral in the Abbassiya district. ''It was necessary to participate in the mass to wish you well on Christmas'', added the Egyptian president perceived by many Copts - though with many reservations - as a guarantee against Islamic intolerance.

    The Copts are Egyptian Christians: an important ethnic-religious minority representing about 10% of the population and the largest Christian community in the Middle East. They have suffered attacks carried out by Islamic extremists: on Tuesday, two policemen guarding one of their churches in Cairo were killed. (ANSAmed)

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