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Egyptian President Vows to Restore Ravaged Coptic Churches


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The president of Egypt says he will rebuild at least 14 Coptic churches damaged or destroyed in sectarian attacks in August of 2013.

Protesters attacked at least 50 churches and Christian homes after a deadly dispersal of Islamist sit-ins following the military removal of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The Muslim Brotherhood denies it was responsible for the unprecedented wave of burnings although multiple eyewitnesses report watching Brotherhood members attack the churches.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged to restore the churches while attending Christmas mass at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. Most Coptic Christians support the president. reports that the president acknowledged the delay in rebuilding the churches. 

"We have taken too long to fix and renovate {churches} that were burned," he said. "This year everything will be fixed. God willing…by next year there won't be a single church or house that is not restored."

Sisi spoke while standing next to Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

The Egyptian president also thanked Coptic Orthodox Christians for supporting the August 2013 revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood.

"We will never forget the stance you and the Pope took during this period…thank you all. Merry Christmas," he said.

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