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Coptic Christian groups urge young people to be political

Coptic Christian groups urge young people to be political

The Huffington Post picks up Monique El-Faizy’s Religion News Service article on Coptic Christians in Egypt who have been entering the political scene since a church outside Cairo was burned three years ago:

Members of the Maspero Youth Union…won’t support a particular party or candidate but wants a civilian, nonreligious government.

Egypt’s new patriarch, Pope Tawadros II, elected in November 2012, has encouraged his flock to quit looking to the church for political guidance; he wants church members to form their own decisions.

His position — drawing a line between church and state — is something the Maspero Youth Union has advocated since its inception.

Youssef Sidhom, editor of the Coptic newspaper Watani, said that reflects the current mood. The age when the Coptic Church was the primary representative of Coptic interests is over, Sidhom said. “The church wouldn’t dare do it, and the Christians wouldn’t accept it,” he said.

To that end, the union recently held what it hopes will be the first in a series of three-day retreats to teach young people how to effectively participate in the political process, both as Egyptians and as Copts….

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