Coptic Christians in Egypt choose new Pope

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By Sarah Barchus

A blindfolded boy chose the new leader for Egypt's Coptic Christians Sunday, the Cable News Network reported.

Bishoy Girgis Mosad, six, drew Bishop Tawadros's name from a glass bowl containing two other candidates a counsel of top church leaders had deemed uncontroversial, the New York Times reported.

Bishop Tawadros will become the church's 118th pope, replacing Pope Shenouda III who died in March of renal failure, CNN reported.

Bishop Tawadros said he would not involve himself politically like Pope Shenouda III, who supported President Hosni Mubarak in order to gain privileges for the congregation, the New York Times reported.

"The most important thing is for the church to go back and live consistently within the spiritual boundaries because this is its main work, spiritual work," Bishop Tawadros said, the New York Times reported.

Egypt's Christian population has been under attack in recent years, CNN reported. During Egypt's revolution last year, sectarian violence saw its bloodiest episode in half a century when police killed two dozen Coptic demonstrators during a protest, the New York Times reported.

Generals blamed the Maspero massacre on the Copts, adding to the Copts's fear of persecution by the Muslim majorities, the New York Times reported.

Coptic Christians make up about 9 percent of the Egyptian population, according to U.S. estimates, CNN reported.

Bishop Tawadros emphasized the importance of "living with our brothers, the Muslims." He said, "Integrating in the society is a fundamental scriptural Christian trait, " the New York Times reported.

Tarek Samir, a sales manager leaving the cathedral after the selection of Bishop Tawadros, said, "there are moderate Muslims who live the same life we do, who go to work with us, who live together with us, and if I am in trouble they will help me," the New York Times reported.

Intellectuals, activists, and churchgoers said in recent interviews that Christians will have to work with Muslims to promote nonsectarian citizenship, the New York Times reported.

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This page contains a single entry by barch009 published on November 5, 2012 7:37 AM.

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