File photo: A still image of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi with Pope Tawadros II pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark as he speaks during the Christmas mass at Nativity of the Christ Cathedral, January 2022. Photo courtesy of ON Facebook page.
“Easter’s coincidence with the holy Ramadan month on the land of Egypt, the cradle of monotheistic religions, is a call for adherence to the noble religious values that call for strengthening cohesion and enhancing the spirit of solidarity and harmony,” state news agency MENA cited El-Sisi as saying in the message.
The president also prayed to God during these “blessed days in which the fasts and prayers of the masses of Muslim and Christian Egyptians converge” to bring continued goodness and development to Egypt, protect the country and citizens, and perpetuate security and prosperity in Egypt.
The president also sent similar messages greeting Egyptian Copts abroad on Easter through the country’s embassies and consulates worldwide.
Pope Tawadros II arrived Saturday night at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to lead the Orthodox Easter Sunday Mass, which falls this year on 24 April. A large number of attendees are attending the mass amid strict coronavirus measures.
Last week, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb congratulated Pope Tawadros II and the Christian people in Egypt in a phone call, saying bonds between Muslim and Christian people in Egypt “stem from the right understanding” of religion.
During the phone call, Pope Tawadros also hailed the relations binding the leaders and people of the church with the scholars of Al-Azhar, saying that these relations are a reflection of cooperation and ties between the two ancient institutions in all fields.
The celebrations of Christian religious events of the Holy Week were disrupted over the past two years due to the pandemic, as attendance of masses was limited to Church officials in order to stem the spread of the virus in the country.
The Palm Sunday marks the first day of the Holy Week that also has Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which is Easter’s eve — when Copts usually go to church before gathering at night to celebrate and break their 55-day fast.