Church backing for second Arab Spring in Egypt; The Church of England Newspaper, July 21, 2013 p 6. July 23, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East, Politics.
Tags: Diocese of Egypt, Mohammed Mursi, Mouneer Anis
Christian leaders have welcomed the overthrow of Pres. Mohammed Mursi and his Muslim brotherhood government in Egypt. Following four days of nationwide demonstrations that saw an estimated 20 million Egyptians take to the streets on 3 July 2013 the Egyptian army seized power, arresting Pres. Mursi and suspending the country’s Islamist Constitution.
“At last, Egypt is now free from the oppressive rule of the Muslim Brotherhood,” wrote the Anglican Bishop of Egypt, the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis, on 3 July.
At the start of the demonstrations, Pope Tawadros II – spiritual leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church tweeted his support, writing: “It’s wonderful to see the Egyptian people – through the idea of Tamarod and its youth – taking back their stolen revolution in a peaceful way.”
Shortly after the Army gave Pres. Mursi 48-hours to respond to the protestor’s demands, Pope Tawadros pleaded for a solution that “listens to the voice of the people” and gave his support to the opposition, tweeting “I pay tribute to the big three of Egypt: the people, the army and the youth.”
Dr. Anis reported the army had “responded to the invitation of the people to intervene and force the President to step down at the request of the people of Egypt. Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi invited His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of Egypt Dr. Ahmed el-Tayyib, and other political leaders, to discuss the roadmap for the future of Egypt,”
“After this meeting, it was announced that the head of the constitutional court will be an interim leader of the nation. The current controversial constitution is now suspended. The new government will involve capable people from different backgrounds.”
“As soon as Field Marshall Abdel Fattah el-Sisi announced this, millions of Egyptians on the streets went around rejoicing, singing, dancing, and making a lot of fireworks. I have never seen Egyptians rejoicing in such a way! They deserve this joy as they insisted to write their own history,” the bishop wrote.
“Since the Muslim Brotherhood ruled the country a year ago, we Egyptians experienced divisions, exclusions, sectarian clashes, fanaticism, a decrease in tourism, and a bad economy. This is an answer to the prayers of so many people from around the world who were praying for our beloved country Egypt,” the bishop said.
On 4 July Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom released a statement saying the overthrow of Mursi regime was the second wave of the Arab Spring.
“What has been seen in the streets of Egypt over the past week would have been considered by many as impossible, especially when set against the backdrop of two years which commenced joyfully, but became increasingly challenging through a state of fragmentation, a failing economy and a weakened state of law and order,” he said.
“With the age old scourge of illiteracy and poverty unaddressed and the development of a cohesive sense of national pride and unity unrealised, the people of Egypt took to the streets to follow their desire for dignity and social justice in the way that proved successful just over two years prior,” Bishop Angelos wrote.
The path ahead was not clear, Dr Anis warned, noting there could be a “violent reaction of the Islamists.”
Pray for Egypt, the Bishop wrote. Pray for “unity and reconciliation after more than one year of divisions.”