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Egypt’s Coptic Pope concerned over risks of attacks

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23627653 EgyptÆs Coptic Pope concerned over risks of attacks 10/8/13 - John McManus A bishop in EgyptÆs Coptic
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 12, 2013
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      Egypt’s Coptic Pope concerned over risks of attacks

      10/8/13 - John McManus

      A bishop in Egypt’s Coptic Church says Pope Tawadros II has cancelled
      weekly public meetings due to concerns over possible attacks on his

      Bishop Angaelos, who heads the Church in the UK, says in one incident
      the flag of al-Qaeda was raised on church property while worshippers hid

      Several human rights groups have criticised Egypt’s authorities for
      failing to protect Christians.

      Some Islamists say the Church backed the removal of President Morsi.

      Two weeks ago Bishop Angaelos told the BBC that he didn’t mind what kind
      of government led Egypt – even an Islamist one – as long as individual
      rights were respected and the country was able to flourish.

      Now the bishop has revealed that the Church’s leader, Pope Tawadros II,
      has cancelled some public events at St Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo because
      of the worsening security situation.

      Pope Tawadros is concerned about the risk of potential attacks on the
      Coptic congregation.

      Egypt’s Christians have long been a target for disaffected Islamists,
      many of whom now openly accuse the Church of playing a role in the
      recent removal of President Mohammed Morsi.

      When the chief of the army, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi went on
      television to announce that President Morsi had been removed from power,
      Pope Tawadros and Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Cairo’s
      ancient seat of Muslim learning, both made statements.

      Pope Tawadros said that the “roadmap” mentioned by the general had been
      devised by honourable people, who had Egypt’s best interests at heart.

      Some Islamists took this as a sign that the Church had conspired in
      their leader’s overthrow.

      The events that Pope Tawadros has cancelled are thought to be Bible
      lectures, where he takes questions from the congregation gathered inside
      St Mark’s Cathedral.

      Recent incidents cited by Bishop Angaelos include an attack on a church
      which left the congregation cowering inside while the flag of al-Qaeda
      was raised on its premises.

      He says homes and businesses have been destroyed and callers to TV shows
      have openly demanded the eradication of non-Muslims.

      On Wednesday, 16 Egyptian human rights organisations denounced the
      government’s failure to protect Copts, and said Muslim Brotherhood
      leaders were using hate speech to make political gains.

      The groups said that the traditional method of stopping violent attacks
      by using mediation was not working.

      They have called for an independent investigation into why Christians
      and their property are not being adequately protected by the security
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