As we celebrate Christmas, I extend my heartfelt wishes to Egypt in her entirety: to the Copts who celebrated on 7 January [Copts celebrate Christmas on 29 Kiahk which coincides with 7 January] and the Muslims who shared with their warm greetings. In genuine spontaneity, the majority of Muslims waived aside the regular fundamentalist warning that they should not be offering Christians good wishes for their religious feasts—Christmas is naturally included—or that if they do, they have to use ‘proper’ words [that do not contradict Islamic teachings]. The time-honoured ‘Egyptian’ bond has throughout the ages worked to maintain Egypt’s Copts and Muslims closely knit in one national body; Egypt will forever remain the motherland that unites Copts and Muslims and indiscriminately claims those who love and serve her.
Together with the Watani family, I offer my sincerest wishes for a happy, peaceful Christmas to the Coptic congregation, the Coptic Orthodox Church, her pastor Pope Tawadros II and all the bishops, archbishops and members of the clergy. I also extend sincere greetings to the heads, pastors and congregations of Catholic and Evangelical Churches in Egypt. I pray that the Heavenly Father would shower Egypt and her children with love, peace and blessings.
8 January 2017