6 July 2015 - The Coptic Orthodox Church of Saints Anthony and Paul, in the Egyptian district of Nasser (the province of Beni Suef) oversees the weekly distribution of food parcels to hundreds of poor Muslim families during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month particularly characterized by the practice of fasting combined with prayer. This is what Coptic sources consulted by Agenzia Fides said. The food parcels offered by the Coptic parish are distributed in cooperation with the local mosque, and the synergy between imams, monks and priests and lay Christians helps to strengthen the bonds of familiarity and solidarity that are an effective antidote to sectarian preaching and to the maneuvers of fundamentalist groups.
The decision to distribute basic necessities to the poorest Muslims marks a change compared to the past, when during Ramadan Christian communities organized dinners and social occasions to share with Muslims at the end of the daily fast.
"In reality - explains to Fides Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, the Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh - lately those evening banquets had become very formal moments, and participation began to decline. 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". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 06/07/2015)