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Coptic pope urges Egyptians to avoid bloodshed

Coptic Pope Tawadros II has reportedly cancelled church meetings as attacks against Christians continue

Ahram Online, Monday 12 Aug 2013
Pope Tawadros
Coptic Pope Tawadros II, head of Coptic Orthodox church (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has called on Egyptians to prevent bloodshed and violence, as incidents of sectarian violence in the country continue to increase.

"With all compassion I urge everyone to conserve Egyptian blood and ask of every Egyptian to commit to self-restraint and avoid recklessness and assault on any person or property," Pope Tawadros wrote on his official Twitter account on Monday.

Incidents of sectarian violence took place in the Upper Egyptian cities of Minya and Beni Suef over the last few days, causing dozens of injuries. The number of incidents targeting Egyptian Christians has increased since Mohamed Morsi was ousted from the presidency on 3 July.

Pope Tawadros has cancelled weekly public meetings at St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo out of fear of potential violent attacks, a senior Coptic bishop told the BBC on Friday.

On Wednesday, a group of Egyptian human rights groups issued a statement accusing the Egyptian authorities of not doing enough to protect Christians, and said that leaders of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood were inciting religious hatred.

The pope's statement also comes following an announcement by the interior minister that security forces will be moving to disperse the ongoing pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo, as the government continues to accuse Morsi's supporters of committing "terrorist acts" against their opponents.

Local human rights organisations have warned that any dispersal of the sit-ins must observe legal limits and international standards, and must avoid excessive violence.

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John
12-08-2013 03:35pm
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188+
Pope got Egyptian blood on his hands....
This is the same pope who is part of the military coup in Egypt, therefore, he is responsible, just as all the other coup leaders are responsible, for the murder and spilling the blood of innocent protesters. So it is a height of hypocrisy on his part to call to "avoid bloodshed" when through his action he is responsible for bloodshed.
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uzmabatool
12-08-2013 09:34pm
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Instigator
Pope represents a religious faction not a political party.Involving Churchs in politics in general and in conflict between Army Chief & an Islmist President as spacial is the main reason of this recent backlash against Copts in already a polorised society.Pope is equally responsible for the hatred and violance against Copts.Pope is not supposed to be part of any political current that's openly in war against the other sect or religeous faction of this deeply polorised,intolerant society. Pope's request at stage just like crying over spilt milk.
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