A prominent evangelical Egyptian pastor has warned his congregation against voting for purely protecting Christian interests in the presidential elections that begin in the Middle East country on May 23.
A young voter shows with pride proof she took part in Egypt's first widely contested presidential election on May 23.
Pastor Sameh Maurice of Kasr El Doubara, a large evangelical church in Tahrir Square, Cairo, said Christians should vote for the best candidate for the whole country instead of one that may be perceived to be best at protecting Christians over a more Islamic candidate.
"We should not allow fear to motivate us," he said. "Our choice has to be built on good thinking, seeking what is better for the future of the country.
"It is dangerous to think who would be good for us as Christians. We should think of who will be good for all Egyptians, remembering that we have one future, and when it is good, everyone will be blessed.
"We are seeking a person who believes in democracy and freedom for everyone, someone who would treat all Egyptians equally regardless their religion."
Sameh was speaking at the Sunday service, which was broadcast by BMS World Mission partner Sat 7.
The pastor's comments are in response to reports that many Christians will vote for former President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister and former military commander, Ahmed Shafiq, to be president as he favors a more secular future for Egypt and would be more tolerant of Christians compared to more Islamic candidates.
Christians make up approximately 10 percent of the Egyptian population with the majority Muslim.
The first round of voting in the Egyptian presidential elections was May 23-24. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, a run-off election will be held next month.
This article appeared originally in The Baptist Times of Great Britain.