Pope Tawadros II leads the Christmas mass in the new Administrative Capital – Egypt Today
CAIRO – 7 January 2018: Pope Tawadros II of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church delivered a speech on the occasion of the Orthodox Christmas celebrated for the first time at the new Nativity of Christ Cathedral in the New Administrative Capital on Saturday evening.
Tawadros said that the word “Christmas” is basically a Coptic term that dates back to ancient Egypt.
"Christ means Jesus, and Mass means birthday. This word was created in Egypt and therefore we call it Christmas Cathedral," Tawadros added.
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and other top state officials witnessed the mass for the third time in a row.
In January 2017, Sisi commissioned the construction of the country’s largest mosque and church in the New Administrative Capital to become symbols of coexistence and national unity.
The Nativity of Christ Cathedral would be the largest church in the Middle East, with a capacity to accommodate 8,200 worshippers.
“This cathedral was built under the patronage of the Egyptian political leadership and it bears the name of Christ for the first time,” Tawadros said.
The pope stressed that Egypt is witnessing a new era of mega projects and clear political and economic vision that show the original image of Egypt to the world.
Tawadros II thanked the Armed Forces Engineering Authority for its efforts in accomplishing this big project, pointing out that this cathedral can be matched by the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Finally, Tawadros II congratulated the Egyptians on the glorious Christmas, thanking President Sisi for his continuous participation in their holidays.
He also thanked those who donated to building the new mosque and cathedral in the New Administrative Capital, saying, "This unique project became a symbol of coexistence and national unity.”
The country’s New Administrative Capital is set to be completed in 2020 and is part of the government’s plan to expand urban areas to deal with the country's rapid population growth and improve the nation's infrastructure.