Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church met with several members of the government on Sunday to receive condolences for the recent wave of sectarian violence in Al-Khasous and at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral. According to state-run Al-Ahram, the pope met seven ministers from several different ministries, including the ministers of housing, youth, and sports as well as the governors of Cairo and Giza. Tawadros met the former army Chief of Staff Sami Annan and the secretary general of the World Council of Churches (WCC).
The minister of sports reportedly told the pope that the ministry was looking at organising sporting events to collect funds on behalf of the victims of the violence.
According to Aswat Masriya, Annan expressed his condolences for the recent violence and expressed hope that “Egypt would overcome this difficult period”.
Tawadros also met with the head of the Al-Wafd Party, El-Sayed El-Badawi. According to a statement released by Al-Wafd, El-Badawi offered his condolences to the pope, and stressed that Egyptians “have lived together for thousands of years on the banks of the river and worship the same Lord”, adding that Egyptians share national unity.
“We all need to restore the spirit that prevailed during the 25 January Revolution, where Christians were protecting Muslims during Friday prayers as Muslims were protecting Christians during Sunday mass,” El-Badawi said.
Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar Shawky Ibrahim Abdel Karim was also present at the meeting.
According to Al-Ahram, Pope Tawadros II also met with WCC Secretary General Olav Fykse Tviet. Both parties spoke about the rights of Christians in various communities. Fykse Tviet called for stability and security in the country, adding that the government must provide protection for all Egyptians. The two are said to have spoken on several topics, one of which being the conditions surrounding Copts in Egypt and their migration to other countries.