Amid a warm welcome and roaring cheers, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi joined Pope Tawadros and Coptic Egyptians during Wednesday’s Christmas mass taking place at the St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abbasiya.
President Sisi, who was the first Egyptian President to make an appearance at Christmas mass last year, spread his warm greetings for Coptic Christians and reassured them that as long as Egyptians remain united they can overcome all hardships.
“In this occasion, I want to exhort you all, let no one come between us,” said Sisi in his speech at the Cathedral. “Nothing can harm us, not our economic conditions or political conditions. Unless we diverge, we can overcome anything.”
Emphasizing on the diversity of Egyptians, Sisi added that differences between people should not mean different treatment.
“God Has created us different…in religion, manner, colour, language, habit, tradition…and no one can make us the all same,” said President Sisi amid interrupting cheers.
On the matter of churches that had been destroyed during violence in 2013, Egypt’s President Sisi confessed that the government had taken too long to act.
“We have taken too long to fix and renovate [churches] that were burned…this year everything will be fixed,” announced President Sisi.
“Please accept our apologies for what happened…God willing…by next year there won’t be a single church or house that is not restored,” added President Sisi.
“We will never forget the stance you and the Pope took during this period…thank you all. Merry Christmas.”