Rome - Egypt's Coptic Catholic community on Monday offered
its support for the armed forces against what it defined as
"terrorist" violence by supporters of deposed Islamist president
In a message relayed by the Italian Episcopal news agency
SIR, Catholic Coptic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak said there were no real
divisions between Christians and Muslims in Egypt.
He also thanked the military and the police in Egypt
"for all their efforts in protecting the country".
The patriarch said he "categorically rejected any
internal inference in Egypt's internal affairs".
"We thank all those of our fellow Muslim citizens who
have shown themselves to be so close to us and have tried to defend our
churches and institutions," he said.
Dozens of Christian churches, schools and shops have been
torched in Egypt in recent days, many by Morsi supporters.
"This is not a political conflict between different
factions but a struggle by all Egyptians against terrorism," the patriarch
Monsignor Yohanna Golta, auxiliary Catholic bishop in
Alexandria, said that "Christians and Muslims in Egypt are being
persecuted by the Muslim Brotherhood".
"This is not a Christian-Muslim problem since it is an
Egyptian problem. Everything happening is against the Egyptian people,"
Golta said on Vatican radio.
Egypt's Christian minority has overwhelmingly supported
Morsi's overthrow. There are around 250 000 Coptic Catholics in Egypt and some
seven million Coptic Orthodox believers.