Egypt says it has undertaken important multi-dimensional efforts to promote and protect religious freedoms, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Ihab Gamaleldin said in a speech during the second ministerial meeting held in the US State Department to advance religious freedom.
Gamaleldin said that Egypt has emerged as an example of tolerance and religious harmony following a "traumatised society under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood."
"The 2014 constitution overwhelmingly adopted by public referendum describes Egypt as the cradle of religions, on whose land Moses grew up, the light of God appeared, and the message descended on Mount Sinai, the Virgin Mary and Jesus were welcomed, and so was the message of the Prophet Muhammad, Gamaleldin said.
He pointed out that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has repeatedly stressed Egypt’s commitment to religious freedom, pointing to statements by the president during the second edition of World Youth Forum last November that citizens have the right to worship what they believe, or to not worship at all.
"The president affirmed that the state is keen to build churches in each new community, and if there were followers of other religions, the state would build them their houses of worship," Gamaleldin added, pointing out that no discrimination over religion occurs in the country.
Gamaleldin also highlighted the country's efforts to restore its Jewish heritage, including the registration of 500 artefacts collected from synagogues nationwide.
"We owe it to the world to join our efforts to create a new reality that celebrates diversity and respects religious freedoms for all," the assistant foreign minister said.
He urged the world to stand united against those who harbour, finance, and/or assist extremists of all kinds, or propagate their ideologies or facilitate their movement and spread of their dangerous ideas from one country or region to another.