Christians still hopeful for future in Egypt

Published 21 December 2012
The Bible Society of Egypt is hoping for the best despite an uncertain future under the Muslim Brotherhood.

General Director Ramez Atallah admitted that the outcome of the first round of voting on the constitution - in which 57% expressed their support - was a "disappointment".

This was felt, he said, especially by moderate Muslims, Christians and women who feel that the constitution does not sufficiently protect their rights and freedoms.

However, he dismissed concerns that Egypt was about to become another Iran, and said the fact that so many voted against the constitution was an indication that many people "do not approve" of the Egyptian government.

"In many ways it was also a vote against the present administration," he said.

Although the future remains in doubt, Mr Atallah said he belived that the new spirit of freedom reflected on the streets and in the media "will not be totally snuffed out, even by the most repressive regime".

"Yes, there may be hard times ahead, but the millions of Egyptians – from all social classes and of all ages -who did and will vote 'No' will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come," he said.

There have been calls for calm ahead of the second round of voting on Saturday.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders, said: "To those in Egypt who have turned to violence for political ends: we urge you to stop. Too many lives have been lost already.

"What Egyptians have achieved in the last 22 months is extraordinary, but if divisions are not addressed peacefully then the consequences will be long-lasting. Egypt's revolution inspired the world. Let it remain that way."


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