Middle East and North Africa

President tells Egyptian Christians “you are our family”

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Photo credit: Wikipedia

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reaffirmed his support for the country’s beleaguered Christian minority this weekend, telling the congregation at a Christmas service “you are our family.”

Speaking at the opening of a new cathedral outside of Cairo, during a mass to mark the Orthodox Christmas, al Sisi declared: “Destruction, ruin and killing will never be able to defeat goodness, construction, love and peace … you are our family. You are part of us. We are one and no one will ever drive a wedge between us.”

His public support for the Christian community comes less than a fortnight after nine Christians were killed in an Islamic State attack on a church in Helwan.

Prior to the service, the President was greeted on the steps of the new building by Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.