By Essam Fadl
CAIRO: The three Coptic Egyptian Churches — Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical — have refused to participate in “Anger Day” demonstrations nationwide scheduled to take place on Jan. 25 to coincide with Police Day.
Each of the three churches separately told Copts to avoid participating in the demonstrations and to stay at home.
Shubra’s Bishop Morkos, also head of the media committee in the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church, told Daily News Egypt that the church asked its followers not to take part in the protests because “the aim of these protests, [the] demands, and who is behind them are all unknown.”
“The church cannot participate in demonstrations that would escalate into vandalism and threaten the country’s safety,” the bishop added.
Priest Abdel-Kommos Baseet of the Virgin Mary Church in Mostorod asked Coptic youth not to participate in the demonstrations and to instead pray for Egypt’s safety.
A statement was recently released calling for a boycott of the protests, which was signed by various Coptic figures such as Head of Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organization Naguib Gobrael, lawyer Mamdouh Ramzy, lawyers Mamdouh Nakhla,
Waheed Edward Fayez and Ashraf Edwar Kirulus as well as spokesman for the Copts for Egypt Movement Hany El-Geziry,
“Out of our love for Egypt — which is our homeland, living inside us — and for [the country’s] safety and stability, we ask all to listen to the voice of wisdom and to abide by the law in order to get fair demands that are granted by the constitution,” the joint statement read.
“Changes will not happen through destructive chaos. That’s why we ask all Coptic youth not to participate in Jan. 25 protests because solving problems will not occur through demonstrations and shouting, but through objective discussions that are based on legitimacy and legal channels.”
“We refuse [participation in the] protests, and we oppose challenging the president under any circumstances,” Coptic Catholic Giza Bishop Antonius Aziz told Daily News Egypt. “We totally reject participating in these unproductive affairs.”
Priest Safwat El-Bayady, the head of the Anglican Communion, said that his church asked its followers not to take part in the protests.
“We do not know where the demonstrations will lead, and the vandalism that will result out of it will not benefit anyone,” El-Bayady stated.