Egyptian partners speak on the current tensions
Church partners in Egypt issue statements.
In response to the current tensions in Egypt that turned tragic over the weekend, church partners there issued statements today.
The Protestant Churches of Egypt, an ecumenical council that represents the 16 registered Protestant churches there, issued this statement:
On the Incident of the Church of Al-Marinab village, Edfu-Aswan and Events of 9th October, 2011
The Protestant Church in Egypt condemns outright all forms of violent actions. Particularly, the Protestant Church rejects acts of violence in Egypt during this time of socio-political transition.
Leaders of the Protestant Church have closely followed recent violent events and, in response, call for:
Lawlessness to be swiftly addressed and corrected; and
Compromising policies and recognition meetings to be abandoned.
In addition, the leaders of the Protestant Church stress that the recent violence does not accurately represent the national Egyptian context. Violence as has recently been witnessed serves only to undermine not only the country’s prestige and dignity, but also works to erode national security and stability.
The Protestant Church laments the repeated incidents – first with the violence in Edfu-Aswan, followed by the events of 9th October – events which occurred due to a lack in reaching a solution to problems.
The Protestant Church, therefore, appeals to all those within the nation to stand together side by side in order to confront these incidents. We call on all Egyptians to reject the use of violence and, in doing so, work together to create a unified legislation to allow for building places of worship for all. In addition, we call for the law to correctly punish those responsible for harming citizens and property.
With Egypt standing on the cusp of a new era, the Protestant Community raises its prayers to God, calling for the protection of the people of this great nation from all that is being plotted against them. The Protestant community also raises its prayers for those victims and injured in the violence in Edfu-Aswan and across the nation on October 9th, 2011. Finally, the Protestant Community calls on the interim government to meet its responsibility to the nation by ensuring the safety and security of all citizens.
Rev. Andrea Zaki, Ph.D
Vice President (and Acting President)
The Protestant Community in Egypt
and the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS) and its Forum for Intercultural Dialogue, issued this statement:
Thousands of figures from Egyptian society, including writers, academics, religious scholars, religious leaders, youth members, and media professionals deeply regret the events of October 9th, 2011. The violence witnessed by those in the Maspero area, Cairo, led to death and injury the extent of which has not been seen since the early days of the Revolution. It is with a united voice that CEOSS, and all aforementioned partners, condemn the violence.
We confirm our stance – that solving the nation’s problems must be done under the guidance of the rule of law. Thus, the right to peaceful demonstration must be upheld. Those who seek to disrupt the nation’s democratic development must be prevented from committing further violent actions.
Thus, as Egyptians – both Muslim and Christians alike – we must call for the immediate investigation of the events of October 9th, with emphasis on bringing accountability to the doors of those responsible for the violence which, tragically, left many dead. This accountability must be deployed, regardless of the social position of those implicated.
We appeal to all Egyptians to call for an end to violence. In addition, we call on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (the military – interim government) to lead in confronting those who strive to fragment national unity through the cultivation of sectarian strife. We must act now, collectively, so to save the future of our great nation from the alternative – a divided and violent future which reminds us little of the Egypt we know and love.
Rev. Andrea Zaki, Ph.D