OJEC calls for tolerance and solidarity

The Council of Jews and Christians in the Netherlands (OJEC) states in a letter to the participating religious organizations that the Coptic churches deserve the moral and financial support of the churches in the Netherlands.

Of course assistance can be given via the church channels that are already available, but a special campaign can also be launched to help the victims and the churches that were affected in Egypt.

Not only do Egyptian Christians deserve our support, so does the dialogue between the various religious communities in this country that has been so torn asunder by the conflicts. ”The elimination of one of these communities, as was the case when the Jews were driven out of Egypt in the 1950s, impoverishes a culture and weakens a country. Even if their beliefs differ, the participants in a society can create the necessary pluriformity in a spirit of mutual respect. Faced with the severe friction Egypt is confronted with today, dialogue is of essential importance and support for minorities whose continuity is threatened by violence is indispensable.”

The OJEC is extremely concerned and apprehensive about the situation in Egypt today. In a letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans, the OJEC states that political and social differences should not be converted into hatred and hostility on religious grounds. Religious centres and institutions should be kept out of the line of fire and remain safe places and sources of inspiration. As a religious consultation council, the OJEC supports the Muslims and Christians in Egypt and the Netherlands who raise their voice against this violence and call for religious tolerance and political dialogue. The OJEC calls upon the Minister of Foreign Affairs to convey a clear message to the Egyptian authorities that the situation there is inadmissible and to ask the government to help the victims of the aggression and support the reconstruction of the plundered churches and institutions.