CAIRO: Pope Shenouda is to send invitations to all state institutions and political parties to attend the Christmas celebrations scheduled to take place in the man Cathedral in Jan. 7.
Papal sources told DNE that the invitations include political parties of which are Islamist parties like Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) of the Muslim Brotherhood group, and the Salafi Al-Nour and Al-Asala Parties, in addition to members of the ruling military council, the Cabinet and all presidential hopefuls.
The MB accepted the invitation and declared that a high profile delegation will attend the celebrations headed by the group’s Deputy Supreme Guide Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat.
The group declared in a statement forming public committee from the group’s youth to protect churches during the celebrations. Independent youth activists have been making calls via social networks for similar protection groups.
An attack on Al-Qeddesine Church (The Church of the Two Saints) in Alexandria in the first minutes of 2011 claimed the lives of 24 Christians and injured over 90 others including Muslims.
Orthodox Church lawyer Ramsis El-Naggar described the Pope’s attempt as "an indication of the Pope’s personal tolerance and the tolerance of the Christian dogma".
"Despite the attack by the head of Al-Asala Party Adel Abdel Maksoud on Copts, but he will be invited because we have a message of love and that we are all Egyptians," he said.
MB described in its statement the celebrations as "glorified occasion".
"We are happy to congratulate our fellow Copts and our fellow Muslims with the birth of Jesus who was honored in the Holy Quran," the group said.
"We urge the ruling military council and police forces to protect churches just like they protected polling stations during the elections so that the corrupt hands do not ruin these celebrations like what happened continuously during the era of the ousted regime."