02/28/2013, 00.00
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Egypt, Christian Churches abandon "useless" dialogue with President

Catholic, Coptic, Orthodox and evangelical leaders avoid political exploitation and prefer to keep a spiritual role. In a statement, the religious leaders apologize and offer fasting and prayer for the success of dialogue.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - "The Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Churches have declined the invitation to the eighth session of the dialogue organized by President Mohamed Morsi." This was confirmed to AsiaNews by Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church. The meeting was held on 26 February in Cairo. It was attended by some opposition leaders. The talks are part of attempts by Islamist leader to seek consensus among the representatives of the Christian minority and the non-Islamic opposition.

In a statement published in the Egyptian newspaper Le Messager delegates of the three Churches "apologize for the lack of participation in the session of meetings, but for now want to avoid any active role in political life and as requested by the President offer fasting and prayers for the success of the dialogue. " Fr. Greiche, author of the press release explains that the Christian minority does not "want to boycott the offer of the President", but are using their right not to participate in the sessions, which in the past produced"no useful ideas" for a real dialogue between the parties.

The meetings organized by the Islamist president began in September 2012 after the oceanic demonstrations against the Muslim Brotherhood accused of wanting to establish a new regime, Islamizing society and allowing the Salafis, but also common criminals, to carry out abuses against the Christian community. The last case concerns a shooting yesterday in front of the church of St. George in the Christian quarter of Dishna in the city of Qena (Upper Egypt). A man fired an automatic weapon against the religious building filling it with bullets. For the moment, there have been no reports of any injuries, but the case has triggered panic among Christian residents. He had previously been convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison. (S.C.)


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