Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s Defence Minister, has ordered the Engineering Corp of the Army to immediately rebuild the churches destroyed by the Muslim Brotherhood, recognising the importance of the Coptic Christians to Egyptian society.
Fox News reports:
The Egyptian defense minister has ordered the repair and reconstruction of all churches that suffered damage in the country’s violent demonstrations since the Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power last month.
Defense minister Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi intends to fix the damage to Coptic churches at Rabaa Adaweya and Nahda squares, according to a report by the Mid-East Christian News.
Dozens of churches were attacked and burned in riots after thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities to demand the end of what they call military rule, following the removal of Morsi on July 3. Many of Morsi’s supporters have voiced criticism at Egypt’s Christian minority for largely supporting the military’s decision to oust him from office.
“The Egyptian defense minister ordered the engineering department of the armed forces to swiftly repair all the affected churches, in recognition of the historical and national role played by our Coptic brothers,” read a statement that aired on Egyptian television.
Bishop Mousa thanked Sisi for his efforts to repair the damaged churches.
“We thank Col. Gen. Sisi for commissioning the brave Egyptian armed forces to rebuild the places of worship damaged during the recent events,” Bishop Mousa said on Twitter.
The Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic Christian youth movement, says there’s a “retaliation war” against the religious minority, which makes up around 10 percent of Egypt’s population, according to a report by AFP.
Protect the Pope comment: It is to be hoped that Col. Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s order to the Engineering corp to re-build the churches includes all the churches and Christian buildings throughout Egypt and not just those Coptic churches at Rabaa Adaweya and Nahda squares, including the Church of the Virgin Mary in Minya, Upper Egypt, which dates back to the fourth century.