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AFRICA/EGYPT - The Coptic Orthodox Church and the Islamic University of Al-Azhar together against child abuse and premature marriages

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Posted on: 05/12/16
Cairo - The Islamic University of Al Azhar - considered the most authoritative theological-academic institution of Sunni Islam - and the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate signed a programmatic document which outlined their shared commitment to fight forms of violence and abuse against children. The joint statement, prepared under the auspices of UNICEF, was signed on Monday, May 9 by Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and by Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, Great Imam of al-Azhar.
In the text, scholars linked to the Islamic University and the Coptic community contributed to outlining the protection of children as a common priority, shared by both the Islamic and Christian sensibility.
The campaign in favor of children and girls - refer Egyptian sources consulted by Agenzia Fides - also includes the phenomenon of genital mutilation and early marriage, and, of course, kidnapping and sexual abuse. In addition to statements of intent, the program also provides for the active involvement of at least 850 leaders of churches and mosques - imam, priests, monks, pastoral workers - which in the current year will attend preparation courses, and then personally commit themselves in information campaigns designed to sensitize the entire population of a plague that strikes the entire Egyptian society in different forms. According to the most alarming statistics, more than 70% of Egyptian children suffer some form of abuse and violence even within their own family and community environment.


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