Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sheik Khaled of al-Azhar: give churches more land

A top Egyptian preacher has called on the government to allocate more land for Christian’s to build churches and blamed sectarian tension in Egypt on extremists from both sides, press reports said Tuesday.

Sheikh Khaled al-Gindi said in an interview with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat that the government should allow Christians to build churches the same way Muslims expect to be able to build mosques in the West.

“All citizens have the right to practice their religious rights,” Gindi said. “As we demand that the West allows us to build mosques, we have to do the same here (in Egypt) with churches. This is what Amr ibn al-Asdid.”

Gindi went on to say that the tension between Muslims and Coptic Christians in Egypt does not mean there is a sectarian strife but rather communication problems, for which he held extremists on both sides accountable.

“These problems have always existed, but did not come to the surface before. Extremists who incite hatred are more dangerous to Muslims than they are to Copts,” Gindi said, adding extremists were behind the clashes that have erupted over the years between Muslims and Copts. MORE on this HERE

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