Catholic World News

Prelate welcomes actions of Egyptian leader, Coptic patriarch

May 20, 2016

A Coptic Catholic bishop who is visiting Rome said that despite anti-Christian currents in Egyptian society, the situation of Christians has improved under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The nation of 91 million is approximately 90% Muslim and 10% Christians, with Catholics forming 0.3% of the population.

In 2013, el-Sisi helped lead the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader under whom the situation of Christians had worsened. The following year, el-Sisi was elected president.

El-Sisi, said Bishop Kyrillos Kamal William Samaan of Asyut, seeks to be president of all Egyptians rather than of Muslims only: when he sees a new mosque being constructed, he also asks where the nearest church is.

The prelate said that five new churches are being constructed in Asyut and also praised the ecumenical openness of Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, who has led the Coptic Orthodox Church since 2012.

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