While many in the Western world remain divided over the changes in government in Egypt, following the removal of Morsi from leadership, many in the country are celebrating the new opportunities created by the endorsement of the new constitution. The overwhelming yes vote, which observers say was held in fair conditions, is seen by many as support for the changes in rule. The new constitution paves the way for elections in the coming months, and in facts mandates those elections.
The Anglican Bishop wrote on the first day of voting for the new constitution: Unlike the previous Constitution that was written under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, the new Constitution affirms equality and the rights of women within the Egyptian society. It was a phenomenon to see crowds of women at each poll, many of whom queued for hours to vote. Some of them were singing and rejoicing, and even dancing, before and after they cast their vote. There was a general spirit of joy among the people of Egypt who voted, in a way that never happened before. We, alongside other Christian denominations, encouraged the people of Egypt to fulfill their civil duty to vote and to pray for the future of Egypt.
He added: The new Constitution affirms the rights of citizenship, and prohibits all forms of discrimination. It has clauses that ensure the development of education and health care for every citizen. It allows the freedom of worship and the building of churches, and Article 3 gives the right for non-Muslims (Christians and Jews) to resort to their canon laws in regard to civil issues.
Let’s pray with this nation as it continues to seek to develop a way forward that embraces its great diversity, affirming the value of all humans. And pray for the church as it seeks to be a voice of hope and reconciliation in the nation.