By SARA OSAMA SHOUREAP
CAIRO: Sermons must not be used to deliver political messages, the Ministry of Endowment said in a Saturday statement posted on its website.
The ministry, tasked with regulating the content of sermons given in mosques nationwide, said it supports the nation in achieving the roadmap to move beyond the transitional period and achieve stability, but without using pulpits to address political issues.
“We demand all preachers use their pulpits to call on people to use wisdom and good advice and to participate politically as citizens, without publicizing any candidate or sector,” said the ministry’s statement.
Anger has sparked in recent months over several preachers who have addressed politics in their sermons. The ministry has dismissed a number of preachers for inciting violence.
The Ministry called on Egyptians to participate in upcoming elections, calling such participation a “national duty.” Its statement said citizens should vote for the candidate they see as better and more efficient to lead Egypt through such a difficult stage.
“Buying votes” violates legitimacy, it said, and manipulating religious feelings for political gain negatively impacts both religion and the country.
“We hope people are careful before spreading news about the ministry or its preachers,” the statement added, stressing that the ministry’s official website is the only place the represents the ministry.
Ministry of Religious Endowment dismissed eight Muslim Brotherhood leaders from their posts to eliminate what has become known as “Brotherhoodization” in the ministry, according to a March 7 statement from the ministry.
In a statement issued in January, the ministry said three preachers were suspended from work in South Sinai because they violated the ministry’s rules for preaching.
On March 11, the ministry decided to put all mosques in Egypt under its supervision for a period not exceeding one month, according to Youm7.