Top Merkel aide visits Egypt to press for protection of Copts
Chancellor Angela Merkel's top parliamentary official, Volker Kauder, said Friday he is to visit Egypt immediately for talks about violence against the Coptic Christians, DPA reported.
Merkel, who leads the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said this week she would step up her efforts to protect Christian minorities abroad facing murderous violence.
Kauder, who heads the Christian Democratic caucus in the Bundestag parliament, said he would be gathering facts about the Copts and other persecuted Christians. One-tenth of Egyptians are Christian.
He said he was set to arrive Saturday and meet with the Egyptian government and Muslim leaders, continuing into Sunday. Two other CDU parliamentarians active in religious and human rights issues will make the trip with him.
"We will be exploring how a peaceful co-existence of the religions can be achieved," he said. "Christians are currently the religious group that faces the greatest threat globally. People who cannot practice their religion without fear require our support."
A suicide bomber killed 23 people early on January 1 at a Coptic church in Alexandria. The attack caused deep shock in Germany.