Equally renowned as the land of the pharaohs, a center of Jewish diaspora learning, the birthplace of the Christian monastic tradition, and home to the foremost institution of Islamic law, al-Azhar Mosque, Egypt’s rich cultural heritage and religious diversity provides the ideal environment for multi-faith engagement work. Building ties between Christians, Muslims, and Jews is an essential part of Churches for Middle East Peace’s work and is vital for Middle East peace (see CMEP policy positions). Egypt’s historic relationship with both Israel and the Palestinians makes this nation a key player in the peace process. Under Egypt’s first president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Egypt became the leading voice in the call for Arab unity against Israel. However, after suffering multiple defeats in the Six Day War (1967) and 1973 War, Egypt has since led the way toward Arab recognition of Israel following the Camp David Accords in 1978. Under Egypt’s current president, Abdul Fattah Said al-Sisi, Egypt looks to re-assume its role as regional peace broker after the tumult of the Arab Spring. However, Egypt’s political future remains uncertain as its government faces the challenges of mounting violence in the Sinai Peninsula and attacks against the Coptic Christian community.
Facts at a Glance
President: Abdul Fattah Said al-Sisi
Population: 97,041,072 (2017 est.)
Languages: Arabic 99.6%, other 0.4% (2017 est.)
Religions: Islam 90%, Christianity 10% (2017 est.)
Christian Community: 8.9 million (2017 est.) including Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Maronite Catholic, Anglican, and Evangelical Christians
Refugee Population: 210,865 (2016)
U.S. Foreign Aid: $78.7 billion (1948-2017)
Hands Along the Nile does important work building relationships between Americans and Egyptians in order to raise the quality of life for the most under-served members of their society.
CMEP is very grateful for our partnerships. However, CMEP does not necessarily agree with all the positions of our partners and they do not speak on CMEP’s behalf.