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Coptic pope neutral in Egyptian presidential election

Catholic World News - May 06, 2014

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria said in an interview that the Coptic Orthodox Church is neutral in the May 26-27 presidential election, which pits Abdel Fattah el-Sisi against Hamdeen Sabahi.

El-Sisi, the former head of the Egyptian armed forces, was a key figure in the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader. Sabahi is viewed as a secular candidate without ties to the Egyptian military.

The Fides news service reported that the Coptic Catholic bishop of Minya, Bishop Kamal Fahim Awad Hanna, welcomed the Coptic Orthodox patriarch’s statement.

“The position expressed by Patriarch Tawadros is to be appreciated and also manifests a positive maturation compared to the past, when some bishops tried to influence the faithful in the choice of lists and individual candidates,” he said. “We can only suggest to the baptized to get as much information as possible on the programs, not to be manipulated by propaganda, to consider the proposals with a critical sense and make a conscious discernment. But we must not go further.”

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