Coptic groups to take part in Friday protest

A number of Coptic groups announced on Thursday that they would take part in protest dubbed the "Friday of Popular Will," scheduled to take place Friday in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Sherif Ramzy, coordinator for Copts Without Restrictions, said his group will take part in the demonstration. He voiced satisfaction with the name given to the event.

Ramy Kamal, coordinator for the Maspiro Youth Union, his the union will be present, adding that he will continue his participation in the sit-in staged at the square since 8 July.

Kamal said the protests will be staged on nationalist grounds and would not emphasize a specific identity for Egypt.

"We refuse to call it the 'Friday of Identity,' Egypt cannot be reduced to one identity," he said.

Islamist groups have announced plans to stage major protests on Friday to defend the country's Islamic identity in face of liberal and secularist calls for drafting leading principles for the country's upcoming constitution.

However, recent reports said that several Islamist, liberal and secular groups agreed to unify demands and avoid clashes during the planned demonstration.

On the other hand, churches approved Copts joining the protests and hoped that the event would not witness any clashes between diverse political groups.

The Coptic, Evangelican and Catholic churches said they will pray for Egypt's unity and stability.

Father Salib Matta Sawiris, from the Ecclesiastical Council, urged Muslims and Copts to put Egypt's interests above all other demands. He added that the Church will not direct Coptic youth whether to take part in the protest, noting that the church focuses on spiritual rahter than political issues.

Andre Zaki, deputy chief of Egypt’s Evangelical denomination, expressed hope the demonstration would end peacefully and reflect unity among Egyptians.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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