Military commander-in-chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi asked the Armed Forces’ architectural unit to restore the churches damaged in nationwide attacks against Copts on Wednesday.
The military would pay for the restoration of the churches out of appreciation for the historic national role of Coptic Egyptians, Sisi declared.
The Ministry of Interior reported that at least seven churches were either torched or partly demolished following yesterday’s deadly dispersal of Islamist sit-ins.
Bishop Rafael, general secretary of the Holy Synod, told the independent newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm on Wednesday night that these attacks would not terrorize Christians, or affect their love for their country. The Copts are willing to pay this price in order to save Egypt from its enemies, he claimed.
The church bears no grudge toward the security forces, and understands the difficult circumstances they are facing, Bishop Rafael continued. The church would not complain about their sectarian issues in these delicate times, he said.
Sisi also announced that the military would pay for the restoration of the Rabea al-Adaweya Mosque and oversee the work. He also ordered the restoration of other state buildings that were damaged in Wednesday’s incidents, as well as the square that housed the sit-in for six weeks.
There were conflicting reports as to how the Rabea al-Adaweya Mosqe went up in flames. Some blamed the security forces, while others reported that the protesters set the mosque on fire themselves as they were being pushed out of the square.