Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

In Islamist-led Egypt, Coptic Christians name new pope - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church chose a new pope, Bishop Tawadros, in a sumptuous service on Sunday that Christians hope will lead them through an Islamist-dominated landscape and protect what is the Middle East’s biggest Christian community.

Many Christians in Egypt, who make up about a tenth of the population of 83 million, are worried about political gains made by Islamists since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. They have long complained of discrimination in Muslim-majority Egypt.

In a ritual steeped in tradition and filled with prayer, chants and incense at Abbasiya cathedral in Cairo, the names of three candidates chosen in an earlier vote were placed in a wax-sealed bowl before a blindfolded boy picked out one name.

Copts believe this long-established process ensured worldly influences did not determine the successor to Pope Shenouda III, who led the church for four decades until his death in March at the age of 88.

“Pope Tawadros II is the 118th (leader of the church), blessed congratulations to you,” said interim Pope Bakhomious, dressed in gold-embroidered robes, who has temporarily been in the post since Shenouda’s death.

As he held the name aloft, the congregation in the packed cathedral applauded. The formal ceremony to install Bishop Tawadros as the pope will take place on Nov. 18, a priest said.

=

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube