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February 6, 2014 4:18 pm

Catholic Bishop: Egyptian Christians Support El-Sisi Presidential Candidacy

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reviews his notes before a meeting with Egyptian Minister of Defense General Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi (right) in Cairo, Egypt, on November 3, 2013. Photo: State Department. A prominent Egyptian Catholic leader believes that Field Marshal General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s expected candidacy for Egyptian president is a positive development for Egypt’s Christians.

An El-Sisi candidacy “is an important fact for the whole country, not just for Christians,” Coptic Catholic leader Boutros Fahim Awad Hanna, Bishop of Minya, told the Fides News Agency.

“In the last year El-Sisi has had a key role in Egypt. His choices have been appreciated by most of the people. The growing consensus that surrounds him is also seen in the streets,” Hanna said.

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Last week, Coptic Pope Tawadros II and a delegation of Coptic bishops also visited with El-Sisi to congratulate him on his promotion to field marshal, and said they support the Egyptian military’s fight against terrorism.

Despite El-Sisi being the overwhelming favorite to win the presidential election, Hanna added that he believes it is important that there be other candidates to compete with him, and that the Church must allow voters to make them own choice for president.

“One should refrain from addressing the faithful towards one or the other candidate. Every believer will choose in freedom and according to their conscience, based on the program that is most convincing. We bishops should keep a reserved attitude,” Hanna said.

El-Sisi on Thursday told Kuwait’s Al-Seyassah newspaper that he is running for president, but the Egyptian army denied the Kuwaiti report.

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