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Egypt: Coptic Christians wary of Islamist president

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Egypt: Coptic Christians wary of Islamist president


Many Coptic Christians in Egypt have reacted gloomily to Mohamed Morsi’s election, fearing they could suffer with an Islamist in power.

Representing over 10 percent of the population, the community already complains of discrimination and has been the target of many violent attacks.

However, one senior Christian told euronews of his satisfaction at the democratic process, after decades of military leaders.

“Thanks to the people’s will, it is really the first time that Egypt has chosen a civilian president in 60 years,” said Coptic Archbishop Salib Matta Sawiris, explaining that since the July 23 Revolution in the 1950s, all of the country’s presidents have come from the military.

In the election run-off, Christians overwhelmingly backed Morsi’s rival, former general Ahmed Shafik. While some in the community might now fear for their freedom and safety, others seem willing to give the new president a chance.

“There is no difference between Ahmed Shafik and Mohamed Morsi,” said Coptic Christian Marina Mounir in Cairo. “What interests us is a person who will protect our rights. There was the attack on The Two Saints Church…incidents in Cairo. But nobody took any interest in us. So we want someone to protect us.”

During his campaign, Morsi tried to ease the fears of Christians, telling them, among other things, that women will not be forced to wear the veil.

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