Christians afraid in Egypt: The Church of England Newspaper, July 1, 2012 p 6. July 5, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Politics.
Tags: Egypt, Mohammed Mursi, Mouneer Anis
The Anglican Church in Egypt accepts the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Dr. Mohammed Mursi as president, but prays that he will honour his pledge to abide by the country’s secular constitution.
In a statement given to The Church of England Newspaper on 24 June 2012, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East and Bishop of Egypt, Dr. Mouneer Anis said Christians are “praying for Mursi, and we hope that he will fulfill his promises.”
On 24 June the head of the Higher Presidential Election Commission, Farouq Sultan, said Dr. Mursi had won 13,230,131 votes (51.73 per cent) former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq’s 12,347,380.
In a nationally televised speech, the new president said: “Today I am a president for all Egyptians, wherever they may be.”
“I call on you, great people of Egypt,” he said, “to strengthen our national unity.”
The uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak will carry on “until all the objectives of the revolution are achieved and together we will complete this march. The people have been patient long enough,” Dr. Mursi said.
Dr. Anis noted that Dr. Mursi had “promised to be a president for all Egyptians, to appoint a prime minister who is not from the Muslim Brotherhood, and moreover he promised to appoint a Christian vice-president.”
“He made these promises to calm the widespread anxiety of the moderate Muslims and the Christians, who were hoping for a secular government. It is worth mentioning that over the last eight months, the Muslim Brotherhood has lost a lot of support because when they became the biggest party in the Egyptian parliament, they tried to dominate the committee which was responsible for writing the constitution. In addition, the Muslim Brotherhood promised that they would not nominate a presidential candidate; however they changed their mind and nominated Mursi. They also did not give any attention over the last year to the hardships of the Christians in Egypt. All of these reasons were behind the narrow margin in today’s election results,” the bishop said.
The “fear now” is the new president will not honour his promises, the bishop said. “If Egypt became an Islamic state, this will mean that Christians will be marginalized” and “some writers express their fears that if the Muslim Brotherhood gained control of Egypt, they will stay in power for more than 100 years.”
“The High Military Council, being aware of this anxiety, took several decisions last week to limit the authority of the incoming president, and to ensure that Egypt stays as a secular state,” the bishop said.
“I am aware that some Western governments are critical of these decisions; however we see them as important measures to guarantee a secular state,” Dr. Anis said, noting the church “will continue to speak out if there is any deviation in our democratic journey. We trust in God and His promises in the middle of this uncertainty and anxiety. He promised that the gates of Hades will never overcome His church. Please pray for our beloved country Egypt.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.