Orthodox Coptics in Egypt meet new president

Cairo (AsiaNews) – Eygpt’s newly elected President and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Morsi, has promised the nations’ Orthodox and Catholic bishops he will resolve the problems and restore peace among Christians, in a meeting held this morning in Cairo. Yesterday, the president-elect received an official delegation of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

According to Fr. Greiche, spokesman for the Catholic Church who attended the meeting, the statements by the new Islamist president is a good sign for the future of Christians in Egypt. He stresses that the meeting was not planned, but was called at Morsi’s express desire. “He wanted to personally  meet the bishops – he says – and has proved helpful and friendly to Catholics to work together to address and solve the problems of our community.”

Declared president on 23 June with 52% of the votes, Morsi has repeatedly stated in his campaign that he would “become the president of all Egyptians,” not just Muslims. According to analysts, this is merely a tactic to keep the support of the minority Christian population, which has always feared the Muslim Brotherhood accused by many of seeking to build a confessional state based on Islamic sharia. However, Fr. Greiche emphasizes that the statement by the president-elect may contain some truth.

“Today – he explains – Morsi confirmed the possible appointment of a Coptic Orthodox Christian and a woman to the vice-presidency. This would be a breakthrough for the country, but the position must have real power. Otherwise these appointments will become mere ‘window dressing.’

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