|Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, right, visits Coptic Pope Tawadros II, center, during Christmas Eve |
Mass at St. Mark's Cathedral, in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015 (Photo: AP)
The following excerpts are from ahramonline:
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has attended the Coptic Christmas mass to mark the first attendance ever made by an Egyptian president to the religious occasion.
El-Sisi arrived at Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo's Abbasiya district during the mass and gave a brief speech before leaving instantly.
He said that both of Egypt's Muslims and Christians are celebrating this occasion, asserting that they are "one entity" in the world's eyes.
He added that he had to come to congratulate the Coptic community and then apologised for interrupting the mass.
Video footage broadcast by State TV – covering the full mass – showed crowds cheering as El-Sisi entered the Cathedral with churchmen and saluted Pope Tawadros II.
Former Egyptian heads of state have visited the Cathedral including Gamal Abd El-Nasser and interim President Adly Mansour, but this is the first time for a president to attend the mass.
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