Egypt’s Coptic Christians Fairing Better Under Al-Sisi

By Ellen Teague

The situation of Coptic Christians in Egypt has improved since the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President, Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is the finding of a report that appeared on the website of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem on 7 August.

“The handing of power to General Sisi brings about hope,” it said, referring to the May 2014 election to the presidency of retired army chief, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who oversaw the ousting of Morsi.

Most Copts view the Muslim Brotherhood as persecutors in the extreme, and see President Sisi as a bulwark against fundamentalists. He has received unequivocal support from the Copts, despite his clampdown on civil liberties and some sisgns of a backlash by Islamists against the Copts over the past year.

Bishop Adel Zeky, Apostolic Vicar of Alexandria, which serves Egypt’s Latin-rite Catholics, declared in May that “[Sisi’s] victory offers to us Christians both security and future perspectives and we are proceeding towards better times”.

Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church that counts around nine million faithful, has also supported Mr Sisi and suggested Christians are now in a more secure position.

The Patriarchate report said the Copts hope “to reconstruct their churches” and “[those who fled under Morsi] hope to come back to one of the oldest Christian havens in the world”.

© 2014 Assyrian International News Agency