CAIRO (RNS) — Since Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi took over Egypt’s presidency four years ago, he has worked to improve life for Coptic Christians, giving them near equal rights and benefits as Muslims even as their churches have been attacked by terrorists.

THE ‘SPLAINER: Who are the Copts and why are they persecuted?

Now Copts are expected to repay him with support in the country’s presidential election later this month.

“Pastors are telling congregants that it’s an imperative to vote and that staying at home in these elections is a sin,” said Ishak Ibrahim, a minority affairs researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for

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