Christians in Egypt celebrated Christmas with the dedication of the largest church for Coptic Christians in the Middle East.
Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Jan. 7, and Christians marked the day with the Nativity of the Christ Cathedral.
The building is a gift to the Church from President el-Sisi, who approved the cathedral in 2017, saying the church should be “a message of peace and love to the world.” He also attended the Christmas celebration and dedication.
"We are one and we will continue to be one," he said at the dedication.
"This moment is very important in our history."
Church leaders are also calling the church a “historic” event.
"I think what we have seen here is historic,” said Joel Rosenberg. “I really think it's a game changer that a Sunni Arab Muslim President of the world's largest Arab country has built a church, the largest in the Middle East and given it as a gift to the Christians of Egypt.
“We've never seen anything like it in history. And I think President Sisi is sending a message not just to his own people but to all Muslims that Muslims and Christians can live together in coexistence. That's an extraordinary development.”
President Donald Trump also voiced his support on Twitter this week, saying “Excited to see our friends in Egypt opening the biggest Cathedral in the Middle East. President El-Sisi is moving his country to a more inclusive future!”
Excited to see our friends in Egypt opening the biggest Cathedral in the Middle East. President El-Sisi is moving his country to a more inclusive future!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2019
Photo courtesy: Martin Widenka/Unsplash