Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of Saint Mark’s Diocese confirmed on Wednesday that Al-Azhar and the Coptic Church have shared strong relations over history.
“Celebrations always offer an opportunity for promoting love and tolerance and we hope that the new year will be full of blessings for all Egyptians,” Pope Tawadros stated during his meeting with Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb in the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abbassiya.
“Egypt has three different ages that include Ancient Egypt, which we are all proud of, the Christian age which has a distinct feature and the Islamic age which also has a its own distinct flavor,” added Tawadros.
“Such visits deliver a clear message to the entire world that Egypt enjoys peace and shows the correct image of Egypt as the home of peace between Islam and Christianity,” the pope pointed out.
Pope Tawadros underlined that the stance of the Church towards the issue of Jerusalem came without coordination with Al-Azhar which confirms the unity of Egypt and its institutions, praying to Allah to keep Egypt safe and sound against all evils.
“An Islamic delegation headed by Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayeb extended their greetings to Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria on Wednesday,” Coptic Church spokesman Boulos Halim said.
The delegation included Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam, Minister of Awqaf (Endowments) Mokhtar Gomaa and a number of Al-Azhar scholars.
This is an Egyptian tradition where all religious institutions greet each other during their respective celebrations.