Religious sects and Muslim institutions in Egypt look forward to Pope Francis’ visit today after a spate of deadly attacks against Christians.
About Forty five people were killed in the attacks on Coptic Christian churches in Alexandria and Tanta, claimed by Islamic State, on Palm Sunday.
Pope Francis during his visit to Egypt will meet President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, the world’s most influential centre of Sunni Islamic theology and learning; and Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who barely escaped the Alexandria bombing.
The Pope main reason for the trip is to try to strengthen relations with the 1,000-year-old Azhar centre that were cut by the Muslim side in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults of Islam by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict.
This will be the biggest method to fight terrorism and violence, said Azhar professor Ibrahim Salah Hodhod.
The Pope is expected to visit Cairo’s largest Coptic cathedral to pray for the 28 people killed in a Christmas season blast last year and lay flowers in their memory.