Friday, 28 June 2013

Cairo, Egypt

In Cairo this Friday morning, 28th June, and everyone is agreeing that it will get even hotter...politically this weekend. It is one year since the election of President Morsi and discontent has spread. Now 20 million are said to have signed a petition for Morsi to go. Long queues for petrol are to be seen and there were many hundreds of thousands protesting on the streets last night. Fr Rafic the press spokesman for the Coptic Catholic Patriarch told me last night that 2 to 3 million were already on the streets across all the governates of Egypt and protests will build further until the actual anniversary of Morsi's election on Sunday. Barricades and road blocks have been put up in many strategic places, with the army said to be ready to intervene if necessary.

Speaking to young Copts I was told how discrimination and oppression has increased - from colleges to villages. Sectarian incidents and attacks across the country have increased to become almost daily events - for Christians and for others.  Ramy told me that he thought that this protest would be " bigger than the 25th revolution" - referring to the 25th January 2011 when President Mubarak was overthrown.

The Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Sidrak appealed for prayers for social justice, religious freedom and rights...and asked also for prayers for peace and that no one be badly injured or killed this weekend.

Neville Kyrke-Smith
National Director
Aid to the Church in Need UK

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