A still image of the 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. Photo courtesy of ON Facebook page.
El-Sisi congratulated Coptic Orthodox Christians and said the new republic will accommodate all Egyptians, without discrimination.
El-Sisi’s short remarks were delivered at the Christmas mass led by Pope Tawadros II, the pope of Alexandria and the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The Egyptian president warned of others who would “interfere and divide” Egyptian society, cautioning that “those attempts will not end as long as Egyptians continue on their path of success.”
Wishing Egypt’s Coptic Christians a merry Christmas, El-Sisi expressed his extreme appreciation and respect to Pope Tawadros II before leaving.
The pope led the Christmas mass on Thursday at the Nativity Cathedral at the New Administrative Capital. In addition to worshippers, numerous political, religious, media and other public figures attended the ceremony amid strict precautions against the coronavirus, according to the Church’s media center.
Last year, Pope Tawadros II led the Christmas mass at the St. Bishoy Monastery in Wadi Al-Natron without the usual public attendance due to coronavirus pandemic. That year, El-Sisi congratulated the pope in a video conference call rather attend the mass in-person as usual.
This year, the Coptic Orthodox Church announced that it is declining to receive well-wishers on Christmas morning due to coronavirus.
The Nativity of Christ Cathedral is the largest church in the Middle East, with a capacity of 8,200 worshippers. It was inaugurated in 2018.
Coptic Orthodox Egyptians – who make up around 90 percent of all Christians in the country – celebrate Christmas on 7 January. Non-Orthodox Christians observe the holiday on 25 December.