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Bishop of Exeter talks peace with Egyptian leaders

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

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The Bishop of Exeter has met with Egyptian faith leaders to discuss peace.

The Right Reverend Michael Langrish visited the Grand Mufti of Egypt and Pope Tawdros II, the newly elected Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church – the largest Christian church in Egypt and the Middle East.

They discussed the importance of continued dialogue between their faiths during the on-going protests in the country.

Last month the Egyptian army reportedly foiled a bid to attack a Coptic church in the border town with Gaza as the Christian community began celebrating its Christmas.

Bishop Michael was invited to Egypt by the ruling bishop of the Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and The Middle East, Dr Mouneer Anis, to see the confrontations between protesters and police.

He said the protests in Egypt have been caused by "a betrayal of the revolution, an unwanted Islamification, and the failure to deal with economic and social need".

He visited the Grand Mufti, Dr Ali Gomaa, the senior Islamic figure in the country who has come under pressure to resign to be replaced with a more conservative figure. Bishop Michael said Dr Gomaa represented a "classical and benevolent Islam".

Bishop Michael added: "I could see thousands engaged in the mid-day prayers, overflowing the mosques and praying all along the streets."

He also visited a former curate from St Michael's Heavitree, in Exeter, the Rev Adel Shokralla, who is now serving at a church in Cairo.

Pope Tawadros II's reign comes as Christians are becoming increasingly worried over the rise to power of Islamists in the country and the rule of President Mohammed Morsi.

The Pope recently questioned the effectiveness of President Morsi's calls for national dialogue.

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