Egypt's Catholic Coptic Church focusing on education, health and welfare
In a result that came as no surprise to Egyptians or to observers abroad, former army General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi won the country’s presidential elections with 97 percent of the votes, securing another four-year term in office.
Announcing the final results on Monday, Egypt's election commission said there had been a 41.5 percent turnout at the polls.
The only other opponent who ran against el-Sisi was little-known Mousa Mostafa Mousa who entered the race hours before the deadline and whose party had previously endorsed el-Sisi.
Coptic Catholic Patriarch’s message to the President
Speaking to Vatican News’ Debora Donnini, Father Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Coptic Catholic Church, said amongst the messages of greetings and congratulations received by the President, was also that of the Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church, Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak.
Greich said that in his telegramme the Patriarch highlighted the importance of taking care of the educational, health and welfare sectors over the next 4 years.
He said he also invited the government to focus on the needs of the youth and give them the opportunity to participate in the service of the country.
Father Greiche also commented on the popularity of the Egyptian President and on how he has kept to his promise to improve security for the people over the past 4 years.
No official discrimination against Christians
Regarding the situation of Christians, Greiche explained that there is no official discrimination between Muslims and Christians.
He said that last year was very positive as the law regarding the building of new churches was finally approved: “it is a law that Christians have been awaiting for a long time”.
On the other hand, he added, terrorists attack churches, they try to burn them, and the government has taken some very harsh action against them.
He concluded that while there is no official discrimination in the country against Christians, there is a prejudiced mentality - especially in poor areas - where people have to change their mindset.