Coptic Catholic bishops pleased with Egypt's new constitution
January 22, 2014
Egypt’s Coptic Catholic bishops expressed their support for a new national constitution in interviews with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Bishops Kyrillos William Samaan of Assiut, Upper Egypt; Antonios Aziz Mina of Giza; and Joannes Zakaria of Luxor agreed that the new constitution—which was approved last week in a national referendum, with 98% of the voters’ support—would provide greater protection for religious minorities, as well as for women, children, and the disabled. Egypt’s previous constitution, enacted with heavy support from the Muslim Brotherhood, had stressed the authority of Islam.
The bishops also applauded the heavy voter turnout for the constitutional referendum, observing that participation was much larger than during a previous referendum in 2012. That strong voter turnout was another rebuke to the Muslim Brotherhood, which had called for a boycott of the vote.
Bishop Aziz Mina told ACN that the new constitution “unifies all Egyptians.” Bishop Samaan agreed, saying that “we are very, very happy about the constitution result.”
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