Trump praises ‘inclusive’ Egyptian president for cathedral opening

President TrumpDonald TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension MORE on Sunday praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for "moving his country to a more inclusive future" as Egypt opened the largest church in the Middle East. 

"Excited to see our friends in Egypt opening the biggest Cathedral in the Middle East. President El-Sisi is moving his country to a more inclusive future!" Trump tweeted.

The president's tweet comes as Egypt opens the Nativity of Christ, the largest cathedral in the region, on Coptic Christmas Eve. The church is located 28 miles east of Cairo, USA Today reported, and will seat 8,200 worshippers.


While the cathedral's opening is momentous for Coptic Christians in the country, it has also raised security concerns that the house of worship will become a target, USA Today reported.

More than 100 Coptic Christians died as a result of terrorist attacks in the country last year, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has repeatedly claimed responsibility for such attacks. The group claimed responsibility for an incident last week in which eight Coptic Christians were gunned down at a Cairo church, USA Today reported.

Coptic Christians make up roughly 10 percent of Egypt’s majority Muslim population.

Sisi rose to power in 2013 after he led a military ouster of then-President Mohammed Morsi. In the time since, the government has eased restrictions on building churches, and loosened other policies that were hostile toward Christianity. 

"60 Minutes" will air an interview on Sunday night with Sisi, despite the president demanding CBS News withhold the broadcast.

CBS News said "60 Minutes" producers were contacted by the Egyptian ambassador and told the interview could not be aired because questions to Sisi about imprisoning his opponents and the killing of 800 civilians by the government during his tenure as defense minister were "not the kind of news his government wanted broadcast."

Sisi, in the interview, dismissed reports from Human Rights Watch, an international human rights organization, that allege Egypt has detained as many as 60,000 political prisoners.