'Pray for Egypt': Church Leader Urges Prayer Amid Instability, Protests

(Photo Credit: Episcopal/Anglican Diocese of Egypt)The Most Rev. Mouneer Hanna Anis, diocesan Bishop of Egypt in a filee photo.

The head of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & the Middle East asked for prayers for Egypt on Saturday as the nation's president declared himself to have absolute power until a new constitution has been ratified and a new parliament has been elected.

The Most Rev. Mouneer Hanna Anis, diocesan Bishop of Egypt issued a statement noting recent events, including the decision by churches in the country to withdraw representatives in the committee responsible for writing the nation's new constitution.

"The situation is not easy, and no-one can predict what is going to happen," he wrote in a letter released by the Diocese of Egypt.

The reverend noted "agitation" after President Mohamed Mursi declared on Thursday that he was removing the nation's chief prosecutor without consulting the Supreme Judicial Council.

The declaration states President Mursi's decisions are "final and unchallengeable by any individual or body" until the new constitution and new parliament were in place.

The Supreme Judicial Council said the declaration was "an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings."

On Friday, protestors gathered in Tahrir Square, site of the protests which marked the start of the "Arab Spring."

Rev. Hanna Amis said a "major demonstration" is planned for Tuesday.

He added that several days ago, churches in Egypt, alongside some liberal parties, withdrew their representatives in the committee responsible for writing the new constitution.

"This was an act of protest, because the majority of the committee are Isla mists who want to impose their own views in the constitution," he wrote.

 "As we dream for real democracy, it was my hope, with many other Egyptians, to have a constitution that is inclusive of all Egyptians. It is very sad because it is now almost two years since the start of the revolution, and we are still longing for stability, democracy, and the opportunity to rebuild Egypt," he said.

"Do pray for Egypt"

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