Mubarak calls on Coptic Pope to cut back religious rhetoric

President Hosni Mubarak called on Coptic Pope Shenouda III to curtail his religious rhetoric as "Egypt is going through a critical period," said a source from within the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt. Al-Azhar's Grand Sheikh and the Minister of Religious Endowments received similar instructions, said the source.

The source, who requested anonymity, added that during a meeting with Mubarak, "The Pope called on the president to pardon the remaining 42 people being detained in connection with the Omraniya case so as not to spoil the 7 January Christmas celebrations."

In addition to the Omraniya case, the two discussed the personal status law for non-Muslims which is expected to be passed in the current parliamentary session, said the source.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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