The leaders of Egypt's Christian minority increasingly are joining the calls for historic change and reform as protests in Cairo and other major cities this week demand the immediate resignation of President Hosni Mubarak.
Until recently, many Christian leaders were guarded in their comments if not supportive of Mubarak. But in the past three days with Internet and mobile phone service restored, more are speaking out against injustice in Egypt and demanding political reform, though few are openly calling for Mubarak to resign right away.
Today by email, one prominent Protestant pastor said to his overseas supporters, "We stand united with our courageous young people who broke the barrier of fear and started to demand their basic human rights for a dignified life, freedom and social justice."
The pastor said that Christians in Egypt "feel the pain of our nation." He said young Egyptians feel betrayed by their leaders. He said corruption is a huge factor in the wide spread poverty in Egypt.
"If you want to know where we stand from the present events, we refuse to give in to lies and to fear. We do not accept the lie that says accept a repressive and non-democratic regime because the alternative is worse. Is our God limited to few options?"
He said Christian leaders have been praying for years for the nation. "We are asking for a new system where leaders with integrity and fear of God would tend to the need and the aspiration of Egyptians. Please pray with us."
But other prominent Christian leaders indicate either support for President Mubarak or they express their gratitude for his leadership. Coptic Orthodox Pope Shenouda spoke on national television, saying, "We have called the president and told him we are all with you and the ...1