While Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt is seen by many as largely symbolic, it brings comfort to many Christians that the pope would enter such a dangerous area to bring a message of hope and peace. In addition to ministering to the Christian population, the pope is expected to try and work with Muslim organizations to unite Christians and Muslims. Many first responders to attacks on Christians are Muslims and they endanger their lives to rescue survivors and rush them to the hospital. Greater religious freedom would create a safer environment for all Egyptians.
2017-04-27 Egypt (Washington Post) – On a table in Paula Youssef’s apartment sits a framed collage of worshipers killed in Egypt’s latest church bombings, all people he knew.
They included his best friend, Bishoy.
Youssef, too, almost died in the blast nearly three weeks ago during Palm Sunday services that was claimed by Egypt’s Islamic State affiliate. So like many Christians in this sprawling northern city, Youssef thought Pope Francis would cancel a scheduled trip to Egypt.
But despite concerns about his safety, the pontiff is set to arrive in Egypt on Friday for a two-day visit that will include meetings with senior political and religious leaders as well as Mass on Saturday.
“It’s really touching that Pope Francis has decided to come after all that has happened,” said Youssef, who was at St. George’s church when a suicide bomber detonated explosives, killing at least 29 people on April 9.