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Egypt's Pope Tawadros II praises Rebel campaign

Pope Tawadros II expresses his support for Egyptians 'taking back their stolen revolution' in a peaceful manner

Ahram Online, Tuesday 2 Jul 2013
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Coptic Pope Tawadros II, head of Coptic Orthodox church, during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, April 25, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II expressed his support on Tuesday for the nationwide anti-government protests and the Rebel campaign that calls on President Mohamed Morsi to step down.

"It is wonderful to see the Egyptian people taking back their stolen revolution in a peaceful way, through the idea of Rebel and its youth," he said in a statement via Twitter.

In an earlier statement on Tuesday, the Pope paid tribute to the "three greats of Egypt – the people, the army and the youth."

The Rebel campaign, launched in May, said on Saturday that it managed to collect 22 million signatures calling for Morsi's removal– who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood – surpassing its target of 15 million.

On Sunday, millions of Egyptians went out to protest, called for by the campaign and supported by major opposition groups, demanding that Morsi steps down and holds early presidential elections.

Clashes erupted between the president's supporters and opponents, leaving 16 people dead in violence across the country.

On Monday, the Egyptian Armed Forces issued a televised statement giving Egyptian political forces 48 hours to "fulfil the people's demands," otherwise it would present a political "roadmap" for the country that would include all political currents.

Amid speculations that the army would stage a military coup against the president, the armed forces released a later statement saying that military coups are not part of its doctrine.

Nonetheless, many opposition political forces hailed the army's statement and stressed on their demand for snap presidential polls.

Pope Tawadros II was selected as Egypt's 118th Coptic Pope last November succeeding Pope Shenouda III who passed away in March 2012.

Copts have been critical of Morsi's leadership and of the 2013 constitution that was seen as favourable to Islamists. Clashes between Copts and Muslims have left dozens dead in the past months. However, sectarian strife in Egypt has existed before Morsi assumed power.

In an interview with Reuters last April, Pope Tawadros II said that Egypt's Christians feel sidelined, ignored and neglected by Muslim Brotherhood-led authorities, who proffer assurances but have taken little or no action to protect them from violence.

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abdulrahman
03-07-2013 02:33pm
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Unwise Of The Pope To Take Sides
The current political struggle in Egypt is essentially between Islamists and non Islamists. Keeping neutral would have been the best option for the Pope,who had praised the anti Morsi forces. This will be long remembered the hard core radical Islamists.It would have been in the best interest of Muslim and Copts of Egypt by the Pope not showing which side he is on.He should have called upon all parties to come to terms by peaceful means. In the same breath, he should offered his sympathies to those killed and injured and condemned violence.Sometimes silence may be golden.
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Al-misry
02-07-2013 04:20pm
15-
122+
Pope happy
Egyptians say no to atheist and seculars. You find that in France etc. there will be no laws in Egypt for homosexual marriage and inheritance . Islam is a core value here in Egypt.
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Mohamed
02-07-2013 01:43pm
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United Islamist 51%
if United Islamist 51% come to power with minimum margin again what will Divided Al NSF Ul Mubarak team 49% do for future Egypt? Egypt is sinking not Islamist!!! By Indian
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Emad Milad
02-07-2013 03:37pm
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You are wrong
Egypt is not sinking. Egypt is being reborn and will live forever. Long live Egypt.
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