The United States should work with the international community to help Egyptians end violence, restore the rule of law and build an inclusive democracy in their country, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.
The Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary sits in a tiled courtyard a few miles outside Cairo, on the left bank of the Nile as the river bends south toward Upper Egypt.
Speaking on behalf of Catholics in Egypt, Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak said the violence and unrest in his country are “not a political struggle between different factions, but a war against terrorism.”
“It is the first time I am afraid to go out, really afraid,” said Italian Comboni Sister Pina De Angelis, who has been in Egypt for 28 years.
Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran leaders in Jerusalem prayed for an end to violence and bloodshed in Egypt and the protection of the values of “democracy, dignity and religious freedom.”
A Catholic bishop in Luxor, about 400 miles south of Cairo, said Muslims and Christians are afraid to leave their homes; because the shops are closed and no one is venturing outside, many are running out of food.
Attacks on Christian churches and institutions in Egypt appeared to be the result of Islamist extremists’ anger over what they perceived as Christian support for the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi.
Egypt’s Catholic leaders welcomed the military overthrow of the country’s Islamist president and voiced confidence that Christians and Muslims can work together to build a “real democracy.”
A priest who directs the Jesuit Cultural Center in Alexandria, Egypt, blasted Western support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during a visit to Parliament Hill.
As the drama unfolded in Tahrir (“liberation”) Square in Cairo, Egypt, for days I joined in the world’s awe at the hundreds of thousands who gathered to demand an end to the autocratic reign of Hosni Mubarak and its three-decades-old “emergency law.”
Rather than exploring the history of Egypt, John Wolszon, production supervisor at The Catholic Spirit newspaper in St. Paul, and his wife, Mary Jo, members of St. Mary in Stillwater, have been thrust into the midst of history-making events.
The couple left Jan. 20 for the trip of a lifetime to see and experience some of the world’s greatest treasures and to visit their daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Enal Hussein, and their three grandchildren, Maleka, 9; Daliah, 5, and Tamer, 2.