Egypt must resist attempts to divide religions: Pope Benedict XVI

AFP, Wednesday 12 Oct 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his sorrow over the latest clashes between Muslims and Christians in Egypt and urged Egyptians to protect their peaceful coexistence

Pope Benedict XVI called on Egypt on Wednesday to fight "attempts to sabotage" relations between Christians and Muslims.

Addressing pilgrims during the weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, the pope expressed his sorrow over clashes between protesters and security forces on Sunday that left 25 people dead, mainly Coptic Christians.

The pontiff called for national unity a day after Egypt's deputy prime minister resigned after the clashes sparked a wave of anger at the ruling military and calls for the premier to quit.

He shared the pain felt "by all Egyptian people, divided by attempts to sabotage the peaceful coexistence" between Muslim and Copt communities, he said.

And he said he supported Egyptian civil and religious authorities in their struggle to uphold the peace and protect the rights of minorities.

The Copts are generally estimated at between six and 10 percent of Egypt's population of 80 million. The Coptic Church itself claims it has 10 million followers, 90 percent of which are Orthodox.

Short link: