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Egypt's largest church and mosque to be built at new capital: Sisi

Ahram Online , Friday 6 Jan 2017
Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Pope Tawadros II (L) during Friday's Coptic Christmas celebration (still image)

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced on Friday the building of what will be the largest church and the largest mosque in Egypt at the new capital by the coming year, and that he will be the first to donate money for the project.

El-Sisi made the announcement on Friday evening while visiting the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo for Coptic Christmas celebrations, which were attended by the Coptic Pope Tawadros II.

The president also apologised for the delay in the rebuilding of all the churches that were torched following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

However, President El-Sisi assured that with the exception of one church in Upper Egypt and one in Sinai, all the churches damaged in the attacks have been rebuilt.

He also stressed that the Pope did not broach the subject of the damaged churches, "although it is his right to do so."

The Egyptian president asserted that diversity and differences between people were created by God and should be respected.

"Only beauty has a place among us, ugliness has no place here," he said.

"Egypt will export good and light with all our help, we shall teach the region and the world love, peace, stability and security. Egypt will be great if we all deal [with each other] with honor, loyalty and peace," the president said.

"As I stand in one of God's houses, I pray for God to save you and save Egypt, and keep peace and stability in our country," El-Sisi concluded.

This is the third time El-Sisi has paid an official visit to the Coptic Cathedral.

Last month, a suicide bomber killed 28 people and injured over 40 others at a Cairo church during Sunday prayers.

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