Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II praised mass protests against the Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, in a statement published Tuesday on his Twitter account.
“It is wonderful to see the Egyptian people taking back their stolen revolution in a peaceful way,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmed al-Tayeb - grand mufti of Sunni Islam’s top religious authority, al-Azhar - said in a statement issued Tuesday that the “unity of the Egyptian people is above all.”
Tayeb warned that “division will lead the country to a catastrophe, and it must end.”
He said “everyone was responsible” for ending the division between protesters, who are urging Mursi to resign, and his supporters.
However, the grand mufti - whose moderate religious authority had previously accused the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Mursi hails, of humiliating it - called for “effective steps” to be taken to show “appreciation to the people’s voice.”
He said the “people have surprised and inspired the world through its elegant expression of their peaceful demands.”
Meanwhile, the country’s ultra-conservative Salafists have urged Mursi to respond to the protesters’ main demand – early presidential elections.
On Sunday, 16 people were killed after clashes between his supporters and opponents.