Egypt president: Christians and Muslims must be treated equally
The Egyptian president has stressed his commitment to ensuring Muslims and Christians are treated equally under the law, amid a spate of murders of Coptic believers.
According to Fides, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi refuted the idea that Muslims are the "majority" in Egypt and that Christians are the "minority", instead saying that they were all Egyptian citizens who should be treated without prejudice.
El-Sisi made the comments at an interfaith event headed by senior Muslim, Coptic Orthodox and Catholic clerics at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, one of Egypt's foremost Islamic institutions.
Since December around 40 Christians have been murdered in Egypt. 29 were killed at a suicide bombing committed by Islamic State at a cathedral in Cairo, with the others being individual murders.
All of this has prompted hundreds of Christians to flee for their lives from the El-Arish region of Egypt, where many of the murders have occurred. President El-Sisi recently ordered security officials to "take all necessary measures" to help resettle them.
The attacks on believers recently led Amnesty International to accuse the Egyptian government of "consistently failing" to protect them.
The leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, Bishop Angaelos, recently said: "I have now drafted and redrafted this statement numerous times over the past weeks, wanting to say something about the deadly attacks experienced by Coptic Christians in Egypt on a daily basis, yet every time I do, there seems to be a new and often more horrifying attack that needs to be addressed.
"From the terrorist bombing on St Peter's Coptic Church in Cairo that claimed the lives of twenty nine mainly women and children, to the murders of individuals across the country since, the one common denominator is that these innocent children, women and men have had their lives brutally and tragically ended for no other reason except that they are Christians."
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