Pope Tawadros II made his first comments on the fire which erupted in the Imbaba church of Abu-Seifein on 14 August and claimed 41 lives by saying that consideration must be given to moving dense congregations from too-small churches to wider, safer ones.
The Pope was talking on the phone with Injy al-Qadi on her DMC TV show. He said small de-facto churches had been years ago built when building a church was a very difficult matter that was resisted by many officials, but “there is now a law that governs the building of churches, and I ask the authorities concerned to note that small places of worship serving dense populations should be replaced by wider ones.”
The Pope thanked President Sisi who had offered his condolences and ordered the church to be directly restored by the construction corps of the Egyptian Armed Forces—a task already underway. He also thanked all, officials and non-officials, Muslims and Copts, who offered help and support to the victims and their families; also the medics who care for the injured. He said the overwhelming support made the pain less.
“We have faith in God” Pope Tawadros said, “We are in His hands. As we mourn those who lost their lives, we should be comforted by the fact that they passed while in a state of prayer.”
18 August 2022