Coptic Christians in Egypt have celebrated the dedication of the Nativity of the Christ Cathedral, in the presence of Egyptian President el-Sisi. The building is a gift to the Church from President el-Sisi who commissioned the cathedral in 2017. He said the new church should be considered “a message of peace and love to the world.” Joel Rosenberg who led a delegation of evangelicals to Egypt for the dedication said “I think what we have seen here is historic.” Rosenberg continued “It’s a game changer that a Sunni Muslim President of the world’s largest Arab country has built the largest church in the Middle East and given it as a gift to the Christians of Egypt.”
“We’ve never seen anything like it in history. President Sisi is sending a message to all Muslims that Muslims and Christians can co-exist together. That’s an extraordinary development,” said Rosenberg. Rev Johnnie Moore, CEO of The Kairos Company, a public relations firm,agrees and sees Sisi leading a new spiritual movement in the Middle East. ” The Bible says, ‘What the enemy meant for evil, God uses for good.’ The horrific terrorism of the last decade has created fertile ground for a new spirit of tolerance to rise across the region and you have leaders who are facilitating this,” said Moore.
Rev Andrea Zaki, President of Protestant Churches of Egypt, says the Egypt portrayed in the media is not the whole story. “I think Egypt is changing. Not like a computer, where you click and have a new screen in a second. Culture, customs, nations, economy, all of these are taking a long time. But you can feel, and see and touch the changes,” Rev. Zaki said. Pope Tawadros, the head of the largest Christian church in the Middle East, and evangelical leaders share the same story. “The answer that they give us repeatedly is, we have challenges but the situation is so much better than under Sadat, under Mubarak, or under the Muslim Brotherhood for sure,” explained Rosenberg.
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