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Egypt's Sisi attends Coptic Christmas mass for second straight year

The Egyptian president gives a short speech to mark the Coptic Christmas mass in Cairo on Wednesday

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Jan 2016
Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi greets Christians during Egypt's Coptic Christmas eve mass led by Pope Tawadros II in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi attended the Coptic Christmas mass on Wednesday for the second straight year at Saint Mark's Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo's Abbasiya district, where he gave a small speech to mark the religious event. 

"We do not want anything to harm us [Egyptians] whether our economic or political circumstances," Sisi said, adding that diversity in religions, traditions and languages is part of "God's norms of life." 

The Egyptian President also apologised to Christians for the churches that were torched during clashes between supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and security forces following the dispersal of two pro-Morsi camps in August 2013.

"The Churches would be fully restored this year," he said. 

Video footage broadcast by Egyptian state TV showed crowds cheering as Sisi entered the Cathedral with churchmen, saluting Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox church. 

Sisi left shortly after finishing his brief speech. 

Last year, Sisi became the first Egyptian president to attend the Coptic Christmas mass.

Coptic Orthodox Christians, who make up around 90 percent of Egypt’s Christians, break their 43-day fast and celebrate Christmas on 7 January, almost two weeks after most Western denominations. The difference results from the use of different calendars.
 

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Glen Parry
08-01-2016 06:52pm
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A man who deserves much more credit than he is given
Despite often being the subject of criticism, from international media, by acts such as these President el Sisi shows that he is genuinely attempting to be a President for all Egyptians; something that has been sadly lacking in recent decades. Perhaps if incidents such as this were given wider coverage; with less emphasis on the minority who subscribe to the notion that, "you are either with us or against us", in religious matters, then those who preach hate would be made to look like the vile individuals they are & who's sole purpose is to pervert relations between religious communities for their own repulsive desires & lust for power?
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Hope
07-01-2016 10:13am
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Brave leader
Looked at the video. I think Egypt is very lucky to have such a brave and wise leader. I as an Ethiopian also think we are lucky to have such a sensible leader on Egyptian side during the difficult negotiation on Dam. Love to Egyptians who accept Ethiopians as brothers and with respect!!
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