Pope Shenouda III praises revolution, thanks armed forces

Ahram Online, Sunday 24 Apr 2011

The head of the Coptic Church has praised the armed forces for taking swift action to rectify the damage done by sectarian clashes, calling on all Egyptians to adopt the values and unity championed in the revolution

Pope Shenuda III
Pope Shenuda III leading Coptic Easter mass Saturday night

Pope Shenouda III, patriarch of the Coptic Church, expressed his gratitude to the armed forces for rebuilding the Two Martyrs Church in Atfeeh, which was torched by a Muslim mob on 4 March.

In an interview with the Egyptian Channel One early this morning, Pope Shenouda thanked the armed forces for rebuilding the church in time for the Easter celebration. The pope also thanked Egypt’s Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb for visiting the Atfeeh Church to try and soothe tensions between villagers. He also said that he wants Egypt to be a civil democratic state.

The pope also said that Egypt is the jewel of the Middle East and added that he hopes that stability returns to the country. He added that the January 25 Revolution was peaceful and that during the initial phases of the revolution there wasn’t any tension between Muslims and Copts, but that unfortunately the situation escalated following the revolution.

The pope referred to the crisis in the town of Abu Qorqas in Minya where a dispute between two families over the building of a speed bump led to sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians. He also mentioned the crisis in Qena where locals have been protesting against the new Coptic governor since he was appointed on 14 April and added that these problems only started after the revolution.

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