On the Eve of Coptic Christmas. at the onset of Midnight Mass, President Sisi paid a visit to the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital some 50km east of Cairo. The visit was to wish Copts and Pope Tawadros a happy Christmas. Copts celebrate Christmas on 7 January.
This presidential visit has become an annual tradition keenly upheld by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi since the first year of his presidency, making him the first Egyptian head of State to do so. The visit is greatly anticipated and welcomed by the Copts.
Last evening, President Sisi was met with resounding applause as he entered the Cathedral. He shook hands with a large number of the congregation.
The President spoke of the timeless bond between Copts and Muslims, and of the strong friendship between him and Pope Tawadros for whom he addressed warm hearted praise. He said this friendship grows stronger every time they meet.
The President spoke of the current economic hardship in Egypt. He said that the State was working hard to reduce the repercussions of the ongoing international crisis which promises to bring about global changes.
But the President asked the public not to fear because “God is there; He will never abandon us.” This is a phrase commonly used by Copts; it is thought to have been popularised by the late Pope Shenouda III (patriarch from 1971 to 2012).
7 January 2023