On Coptic Christmas Eve, 6 January 2022, President Sisi followed on his seven-year tradition of visiting the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ to wish the Copts a happy Christmas.
The President was warmly welcomed by Pope Tawadros II and greeted by the congregation with a wave of enthusiastic applause, ululations, and cheers of “Long live Egypt … we love you President”. No surprise that he responded with happy laughter and obvious affection.
The President gave a word to the congregation wishing everyone a happy Christmas and a new year full of love, mercy, and peace. His short speech was frequently interrupted by warm-hearted, gleeful applause from the congregation. He said: “I tell all Egyptians that we are on the path we pledged to follow before God and you; we have embarked on it together and will complete it one and all: the path of the New Republic.
The New Republic, President Sisi said, embraces all without division or discrimination, so all would live in peace and security together. “I tell all Egyptians we have to be very careful that no one sows sedition in our midst, because the more success and empathy we achieve the more seditionists will target us”; to which the congregation expressed wholehearted agreement.
“May God help me be a faithful, honourable servant to this country, to all of you,” President Sisi said. “This country is a homeland for all and embraces all.
“It is God who protects and shields. We are now inside a house of the God who protects this country in His own way. To Him we appeal for everlasting care and safeguarding.”
The New Republic, the President said, is a republic of aspirations, hopes, knowledge and science, and work. “It is,” he said, “strong but not tyrannical, peaceful but not resigned. We must all be on the heart of one man.”
President Sisi closed by expressing the strong appreciation and love he held for Pope Tawadros, saying: “Men are valued by the stances they take in difficult times; as such the Pope carries immeasurable value with all Egyptians. Take care of him,” he told the congregation.”
9 January 2022