Rowan Williams urges Egypt to secure rights of all

Published October 24, 2011

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has expressed “deep concern” about the current situation of Christians in Egypt. Photo: Michael Hudson

On Oct. 18, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, asked a supplementary question in the House of Lords about the situation of Christians in Egypt (see Hansard) and subsequently released the following statement.

“Along with countless Christians and Muslims alike throughout the world, I want to express my deep concern about the current situation in Egypt as it affects all our Christian brothers and sisters and to promise our continuing prayers and support especially for His Holiness Pope Shenuda [head of the Coptic Church of Egypt] and the community he serves. 

“In modern times the significant Coptic Christian population in Egypt  has been free from repression; Muslims and Christians have happily shared a loyalty to the one Egyptian state.  In the upheavals of the last nine months, again and again Muslims have stood alongside Christians to defend them and to witness together to a hope for justice and stability for all Egypt’s citizens.  We are moved by the readiness of so many, including the Grand Imam of Al Azhar [University; the  imam is the country’s highest Islamic religious authority], to condemn hatred and violence directed against the [Coptic] church.

“This legacy is too precious to lose or endanger.  As we assure our fellow Christians in Egypt of our prayer and solidarity, we join with all those, both Muslims and Christians, in Egypt who are urging the government to secure the rights and freedoms of all communities in this time of rapid change, and not to put at risk the historic commitments of modern Egypt to co-existence and mutual support.”


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