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Copts still out of Constituent Assembly

Nader Shukry

27 Nov 2012 9:34 pm

The three major Churches in Egypt: the Coptic Orthodox, Coptic Catholic, and the Evangelical, have stuck to their decision taken on 16 November to withdraw from the Constituent Assembly (CA) which is drafting a new constitution for Egypt

The three major Churches in Egypt: the Coptic Orthodox, Coptic Catholic, and the Evangelical, have stuck to their decision taken on 16 November to withdraw from the Constituent Assembly (CA) which is drafting a new constitution for Egypt. 
A mediation attempted today between the Churches and CA members, by the venerable Islamic institution, al-Azhar, failed. The mediation attempt was conducted during a meeting held this evening at the headquarters of al-Azhar. Participating in the meeting were Safwat Abdel-Ghani of the Gamaa Islamiya, Mohamed al-Beltagui of the Muslim Brothers, the Salafi Yunis Makhyun, Farid Ismail and Abul-Ela Madi of al-Wassat Party, Ahmed Maher of 6 April movement, Abdel-Alim Daoud and Ayman Nour of al-Ghad Party, former MP Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, and Culture Minister Saber Arab. 
Representing the Coptic Orthodox was Melli (Community) Council member Kamel Saleh; the Coptic Catholic was represented by its patriarchal deputy Bishop Yuhanna Qulta; and the Evangelical by its head, Dr Safwat al-Bayadi.
Mr Saleh presented the Churches’s grievances against the draft constitution, and their objection to the hegemony of the Islamists over it, in absolute rejection to the age-old Egyptian diversity. This, Mr Saleh said, gave rise to serious fears among Copts of a future Islamist State in Egypt. The Churches had last Friday formed a committee of legal and constitutional experts that wrote a detailed report of the Churches’s remarks on the draft constitution. 
Today’s meeting, Mr Saleh said, failed to offer any answers to the Churches demands, so there was no point in considering a return to the CA.
Watani International
27 November 2012


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