Acting pope cancels Friday’s protest in Marsa Matrouh

Pope Pachomius, the acting pope of Egypt’s Coptic Church, has issued an order to cancel a demonstration planned for Friday in Marsa Matrouh during President Mohamed Morsy’s visit.

The protests were planned to demand the return of a local girl who was abducted late last month.

“I called Pope Pachomius to tell him that Copts planned for a protest in the city of Marsa Matruh to demand the return of the kidnapped girl, so he asked me to cancel the protest,” said on Thursday the pope’s deputy in Marsah Matrouh, Priest Bigiemy.

“The man [Morsy] is our guest, and protests are not our way. Prepare a memorandum on the subject and submit it to the president’s assistant,” Bigiemy continued.

Bigiemy claimed that Salafis were behind the kidnapping, but the father of the victim was afraid to speak out against them.

Emad Morcos, the mediator assigned by the Church to resolve the problem, said that Copts "are preparing a memorandum to submit to the president's assistant. It includes the circumstances surrounding the abduction incident."

Morcos accused the son of a Salafi leader in the region of committing the abduction.

On Wednesday, Bigiemy told the privately owned daily newspaper Youm 7 that the victim is a 14-year-old girl who disappeared on 30 September after going to a local bookstore to buy school supplies.

The girl’s family has filed a police report, he said.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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