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22268We Will Rebuild Your Torched Churches, Egyptian President Tells Christians

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Jan 8 1:47 PM

      We Will Rebuild Your Torched Churches, Egyptian President Tells Christians
      Source: Assyrian International News Agency
      admin | 08 January 2016

      The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has pledged to rebuild
      every single one of the dozens of churches, Christian institutions and
      homes destroyed during the last two years of anti-Christian violence in
      his troubled nation.President al-Sisi, a Muslim who has spoken in the
      past of the need to “revolutionise” Islam, was addressing Christians
      during a Coptic Christmas Eve mass yesterday at St Mark’s Cathedral in
      Abbassiya. Mass was celebrated by the head of the church, Pope Tawadros
      II. Orthodox churches, which follow the traditional Julian calendar,
      mark Christmas two weeks later than the Western Christian churches which
      follow the Gregorian calendar.

      Extremist Islamic groups are still influential in Egypt in spite of the
      defeat of the the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013. Shortly after former
      President Morsi was ousted, there was an increase in violence against
      Coptic Christians and at least 65 churches, Christian bookshops, schools
      and convents were burned down, looted or destroyed, according to Open Doors.

      President al-Sisi, who last year became the first Egyptian President to
      attend a Christmas mass, greeted the Coptic Christian community and
      while emphasising the diversity of Egyptians, said that the way to
      overcome hardships was to remain united as a nation.

      “On this occasion, I want to exhort you all, let no one come between us.
      Nothing can harm us, not our economic conditions or political
      conditions. Unless we diverge, we can overcome anything.”

      He continued: “God Has created us different, in religion, manner,
      colour, language, habit, tradition, and no one can make us the all same.”

      He admitted the government should have acted sooner to help the Christians.

      “We have taken too long to fix and renovate churches that were burned.
      This year everything will be fixed. Please accept our apologies for what
      happened. God willing, by next year there won’t be a single church or
      house that is not restored.

      “We will never forget the stance you and the Pope took during this
      period…thank you all. Merry Christmas.”