Coptic Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community canceled his weekly Wednesday afternoon public prayer meeting and catechesis at Cairo’s Coptic Cathedral. The reason for the cancellation for the third week in a row was out of fear that a large public gathering of Christians could turn into an easy target for those who remain angry at the removal of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from office on July 3.
7/18/2013 Egypt (Fides) – The Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II canceled yesterday, for the third consecutive time, the weekly meeting of public prayer and catechesis he held every Wednesday afternoon in the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo.
On announcing the cancellation of the meeting, the Secretary General of the Council of Churches in Egypt Fr. Bishoy Helmy justified the cancellation on behalf of the Patriarch by making explicit reference to the current difficult moment the country is facing, affected by the violence that followed the overthrow of Morsi’s government and the beginning of a new phase of political transition under the protection of the army. “Since June 30” explains to Fides Agency the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Minya Botros Fahim Awad Hanna “Pope Tawadros avoids appearing in public, not so much because he fears for his life, but because he does not want people to gather for fear that some fool could throw a few bombs. At the moment there are those who accuse Christians of being responsible of the popular uprising of 30 June”.
According to Egyptian sources consulted by Fides, the Ministry of the Interior has given order to increase the levels of protection around Pope Tawadros and the Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al Tayyeb.