BENI SUEF JULY 7 2015(CISA) – The Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt have launched an initiative to feed hundreds of poor Muslim families in the country’s district of Nasser in the province of Beni Suef.
The Coptic Church of Saints Anthony and Paul are distributing food parcels weekly to the needy during Ramadan, the Muslim Holy month involving prayer and fasting, reported Fides.
To distribute basic necessities to the poorest Muslims marks a change because during Ramadan in the past, Christian communities used to organize dinners and social occasions to share with Muslims at the end of the daily fast, explained Coptic Catholic Bishop Anba Antonios Aziz Mina of Guizeh.
“Lately those evening banquets had become very formal moments and participation began to decline,” said Bishop Aziz Mina.
“So many Christian communities had the happy idea of using funds intended for such dinners for first aid to poor Muslims. A choice that seems very appropriate, especially in light of the economic crisis that affects a large part of the population,” he said.
According to the organisers, the food parcels are offered and distributed by the Coptic parish in cooperation with the local mosques and that the initiative has created harmony between imams, monks, priests and lay Christians which helps strengthen the bonds of familiarity and solidarity.
This, they added, could serve as an effective “antidote to sectarian preaching and to the maneuvers of fundamentalist groups.”