A surprise visit by Minya’s new governor General Essameddin al-Bedeiwi to Anba Macarius, Bishop-General of Minya and Abu-Qurqas caused a pleasant stir at the bishopric. “We were preparing to pay General Bedeiwi, who was assigned to the post of Minya Governor only a day ago [Thursday 8 September], a courtesy visit to congratulate him on his new post,” Anba Macarius said. Visits by local officials to a new governor are customary and help foster cordial relations between both parties. “But General Bedeiwi surprised us by himself taking the initiative and coming to visit us at the bishopric the first day he took office.”
“The visit was dominated by a friendly, informal climate,” Anba Macarius said. “It was reassuring in that it promised a new era of peace and security in Minya.
Minya, which lies 230km south of Cairo, is the capital city of Minya province where some 65 per cent of attacks against Copts take place [http://en.wataninet.com/coptic-affairs-coptic-affairs/sectarian/why-minya-3/16967/]. Last June and July alone the province witnessed some seven such attacks.
The Bishop told Governor Bedeiwi that Copts called for the rule of law in Minya, and that justice and equality should be upheld. “We should work to nip in the bud sectarian attacks against Copts in Minya; wrongdoers should be taken to account and justice brought.” The Governor said he knew very well about Minya’s sectarian problems, and that they should all be resolved through upholding the law. “There will be no such problems in the future,” he stressed. He also promised he would be accessible to all.
The new governor made his first tour of Minya’s streets in casual clothes and sports shoes. He stopped to talk to individuals and children with whom he was especially warm and gentle, displaying a lively sense of humour. He took photos with the children, and visited a market for affordably-priced food supplies and household commodities held by Minya Bishopric.
11 September 2016