Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi made history yesterday, becoming the first Egyptian president to mark the Orthodox Christmas at a Coptic Christian Mass.
El-Sisi arrived at Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo’s Abbasiya district during the mass and gave a brief speech before leaving instantly.
He said that both of Egypt’s Muslims and Christians are celebrating this occasion, asserting that they are “one entity” in the world’s eyes.
He added that he had to come to congratulate the Coptic community and then apologised for interrupting the mass.
Video footage broadcast by State TV – covering the full mass – showed crowds cheering as El-Sisi entered the Cathedral with churchmen and saluted Pope Tawadros II.
Former Egyptian heads of state have visited the Cathedral including Gamal Abd El-Nasser and interim President Adly Mansour, but this is the first time for a president to attend the mass.
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 7, 2015