Ban on women’s trousers in church sparks protest at Abbasiya Cathedral

Source: Ahram Online
Decision from bishop on women's modesty draws protesters into Abbasiya Cathedral in front of Pope Tawadros II, who rejected the demonstration.
Natalya Mihailova | 07 August 2014
Ban on women’s trousers in church sparks protest at Abbasiya Cathedral
Coptic Pope Tawadros II, head of Coptic Orthodox church

Tens of Egyptian Orthodox Coptic Christians entered the main cathedral in Cairo on Wednesday while Pope Tawadros II was speaking to protest against a decision from a bishop for women to wear more “modest” clothing during holy communion.

Last month, Bishop Bishoy of Damietta and Kafr El-Sheikh governorates ordered for signs to be put in churches in the diocese stating that “all ladies and girls above the age of 11 should refrain from wearing trousers, blouses or make-up during the sacrament of holy communion in the divine liturgy, and they should wear modest dress.”

The decision sparked a protest outside of Abbasiya’s Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on Wednesday, according to Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website.

The protesters eventually entered the church and raised signs against the decision and asking for direct action from Tawadros II, who was speaking at the pulpit at the time.

Tawadros II called on the protesters to lower their signs and not to protest in such a manner, assuring them that he is working on the matter.

Bishoy’s decisions have previously triggered anger from Christian women.

In May 2012, he called on “Christian girls to learn from veiled Muslim women with their modesty. Some Christian women might be displeased with me, but the Virgin Mary, Saint Demiana and the nuns wore modest clothes.”

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