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Egypt on the brink, Anglican bishop warns: The Church of England, July 7, 2013 p 5. July 10, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East.
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Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Egypt on 30 June 2013 calling for the ouster of Mohammed Mursi on the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Muslim Brotherhood Leader as President of Egypt.

The collapse of the economy and dissatisfaction with the hardline policies of the government left Egypt on the verge of civil war, warned the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, Bishop of Egypt and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East.

On 27 June Dr. Anis stated the “situation in Egypt is very serious. I do not know where this situation will take us. I feel that Egypt is at the verge of violent demonstrations, another revolution, or civil war. We do not know what is going to happen, but we know that we are at the edge of something drastic.”

The state news agency reported violent protests across the country. In Cairo a mob set ablaze the party headquarters of Muslim Brotherhood, while a dozen deaths – including an American college student knifed while filming protests in Alexandria – were reported.

More than 22 million signatures have been gathered on petitions calling for Pres. Mursi to resign. However the president and the Brotherhood have held fast, while the army has remained in its barracks, deploying troops to protect only key government buildings and the Suez Canal.

Dr Anis reported that after he took power, many Egyptians hoped the country “would move forward for the better. However things became worse and are now very difficult.”

“Egyptians became divided between Islamists and non-Islamists. A constitution that was written and approved in haste was one of the main reasons for these divisions. Other reasons were the exclusion of moderates and non-Islamists from participation in the political life, and the appointment of Islamists as ministers in the Cabinet and other prominent posts. These divisions led to instability, a lack of security, and many demonstrations which in turn badly affected the economy and tourism. People started to complain from the rise of food prices, the frequent power cuts, the sectarian clashes, and lately the lack of fuel,” the bishop said.

A nationally televised speech by Pres. Mursi last week did not dampen the protests, Dr. Anis stated. He could only guess what turn events would take, but he asked Anglicans everywhere to  pray “for Egypt and for the people of Egypt” in this dark hour.

First printed in the Church of England Newspaper.

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