Interview with Bishop Yohanna Qulta on the situation in Egypt
In the Virgin Mary Cathedral for Catholic Copts, situated only a few streets behind the area of Rābaʽah al-‘Adawīyyah, I met with Bishop Yohanna Qulta on the 13th of August, following an article he wrote, “The Impossibility of Civil War in Egypt,” in which he stated that he did not fear a civil war in Egypt. Read the English translation here.
Bishop Qulta is the Vice Patriarch of the Catholic Church in Egypt, a member of the Baīt Al ‘Ayīla in al- Azhar, and a member of the Papal Committee for Interreligious Dialogue between the Azhar and the Vatican. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drafted the 2012 Constitution of Egypt. In spite of the ongoing sit-in only a few streets away, he seemed calm and confident. Using quotes from the Qur’ān more than he used quotes of the Bible, he argued for the importance of civil liberty. He argued that the icon of Islamic culture and history is that it never forced other people it occupied to convert and that the Qur’ān gave the right of freedom of belief even to atheists. Upon being asked how the current situation should be resolved and if the sit-in should be dispersed, he argued, “Let the people in Rāba’ah continue their sit in for ten years, the government should focus on the economy instead”. On the closure of the religious television channels he was no less resolute in his call for liberty saying, “No channel should be closed down, no pen should be broken.” Click here to read Bishop Qulta’s complete interview.
Photo Credit: Copts United