Needing More than two Symbolic Religious Buildings



In a message of peace and tolerance, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi inaugurated Al-Fattah Al-Alim; one of the Middle East’s largest mosques and the new Coptic Cathedral of the Nativity, the largest in the Middle East, in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) in ceremonies held with the celebration of the New Year. Both the mosque and the cathedral were built over the past 18 months, each on approximately 60,000 feddans of land and accommodating thousands of worshippers.

Mr. President said: “This is a historic moment. It is a message to the world about the cohesion of our society. We are one, and we will remain one,” the president said on the eve of Coptic Christmas earlier this week in a reference to Egypt’s Muslims and Christians.

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb said: “These two places of worship stand as a symbol in the face of attempts to undermine the country’s stability and spread sectarianism,” Roman Catholic Pope Francis said that “with joy I greet all of you on the joyful occasion of the dedication of the new Cathedral of the Nativity, built in the New Administrative Capital. I pray the prince of peace will give Egypt, the Middle East and the whole world the gift of peace and prosperity.”There were also messages of support from Ethiopian Christian clerics. The Ethiopian Church follows the doctrine and rituals of the Egyptian Coptic Church. Coptic Pope Tawadros II addressed the president at the ceremony by saying that “on this day we see you have fulfilled this promise, and here we are witnessing a great opening on this grand occasion.” Al-Sisi had promised to build the new Cathedral in January 2017.

According to Presidential Spokesman Bassam Radi, Sunday’s opening ceremony was a highly symbolic gesture at a time when Islamist militants have been targeting the country’s Christians. Away from all these positive messages in front of media camera and journalists, it is needed more than having great buildings to have great education and great industries and great hospitals, as well. Worshippers who go to mosques and churches are members of families who seek to protect their rights of tolerance in media and education criteria, their rights in safe roads, their rights in healthy affordable treatment. The two symbolic religious building were just added to 114,000 mosques (2016) and 2,600 churches!

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