Next Thursday, 7 January, Egypt’s Copts will be celebrating Christmas. On Wednesday 23 December, two days before many Churches in the world celebrated Christmas, Muslims marked al-Mawlid al-Nabawi—the birth of the Prophet. Just as all Egyptians wished one another well in brotherly love for al-Mawlid, they will be sure to wish one another a Merry Christmas come 7 January. The Egyptian scene was summed up by a huge, sparkling Christmas tree in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, topped with the traditional al-Mawlid candy doll arouset al-Mulid.
I wish Egypt and Egyptians many returns of occasions dear to their hearts, during which they stand united in peace, love, and trust, ready to build a glorious future for their children.
We are now on the threshold of Christmas, the feast of the Nativity that embodies the epitome of peace and love. I extend my heartfelt wishes to his Holiness Pope Tawadros II, the wise faithful shepherd who sits at the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church. I also wish a happy Christmas to all Coptic Orthodox bishops, priests and congregation; and extend sincere greetings to the heads, pastors and congregations of Catholic and Evangelical Churches in Egypt, those who already celebrated Christmas and those who will yet do so. I pray that the Heavenly Father would bless and guard Egypt and her people in peace and stability.
3 January 2016