A delegation of representatives from the various Christian denominations in Egypt visited Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb and Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa on Thursday to convery their best wishes for Eid Al-Adha.
Pope Shenouda III dispatched cables carrying messages of goodwill to Tayyeb and Gomaa, as well as to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), and Sami Anan, the chief of staff of the Egyptian armed forces.
Bishop Yo’annas, Shenouda’s secretary, said that the pope had been preparing to visit Tayyeb and Gomaa but that health problems prevented him from doing so.
“We agreed with the sheikh of Al-Azhar that we all pray for peace to prevail in the country, especially under the current circumstances,” Yo’annas told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Besides Yo’annas, the Coptic Orthodox representatives included Bishop Armiah, Saint Morkos, Saint Botros from Pope Shenouda’s secretariat, Rev. Bishoy, Father Pols and Chancellor Malek Mina.
Representing the Armenian Catholic Church was Bishop Krikor Augustine, Bishop of Alexandria, while Bishop Mounir Hanna, President of the Episcopal Church, represented his denomination.
After the meeting, Sheikh Ali Abdel Baqui, secretary general of the Islamic Research Academy at Al-Azhar, said that the dialogue was cordial, and added that both Muslim and Christian religious men agreed that neither Muslim nor Christian places of worship should be demolished.
Gomaa stressed that all Egyptians are bound together by sincere love and common interests. He said that there is no difference between Muslims and Christians, noting that Egypt will remain the land of peace, security and safety.
Translated from the Arabic Edition