A conflict between Ministry of Endowments and the Evangelical Church was resolved on Monday following a visit by a delegation from the ministry to the head of the Evangelical community of Safwat Al-Bayadi.
The conflict broke out after the ministry issued a disclaimer last Thursday banning its directorates from dealing with the Evangelical Church without going back to the ministry.
Deputy Endowments Minister Mohameand Al-Bayadi released a joint statement at the end of the meeting announcing that the relationship between the ministry and the church was not affected by the media “whirlwind” which followed the disclaimer. They added in their statement that the bond between them is too strong to be affected by attempts to stall coordination between them.
The ministry stated that it did not mean, by its disclaimer, to stop coordination with the Evangelical Church, and instead claimed the disclaimer was misunderstood.
“The disclaimer was a managerial procedure to secure better coordination between the ministry and its preachers,” the ministry’s spokesperson Salama Abdel Qawy said in a statement.
Abdel Qawy said that the ministry recently received complaints from governorate directorates highlighting instances where preachers would take part in church-affiliated activities without informing the directorate. He added that the ministry does not mind its preachers’ involvement in any activities, granted that the involvement takes place with consent from the ministry.
The Ministry of Endowments was also criticised for the dismissal of Imam Mazhar Shahin on Tuesday. Shanin was banned from preaching at Omar Makram mosque in Tahrir Square. The ministry claimed the dismissal was the result of “complaints against Shahin for his politically themed sermons”. Imam Shahin, commonly known as the “preacher of the revolution”, delivered the Friday prayer speeches in most prayers performed at Tahrir Square during protests.
The preacher led a march from Omar Makram mosque to the Qasr Al-Doubara Evangelical church on Friday to protest at the ministry’s decisions. Shahin had already visited the church back in January during a Christmas service.
The Qasr Al-Doubara Evangelical church on Qasr Al-Eini Street was repeatedly turned to a makeshift hospital to take in any injured protesters during clashes which took place in the vicinity of Tahrir Square since the 25 January Revolution. The church was often attacked with teargas by security forces chasing protesters.