New Coptic pope, christians face persecution in Egypt
Tawadros II faces unique challenges as Egypt transforms itself.
The Coptic Orthodox Church crowned a new pope Sunday, Tawadros II amid fears of persecution and discrimination. Mohammed Morsi was absent, although the Egyptian Prime Minister and other dignitaries attended the event.
Despite their size, Coptic Orthodox Christians, along with all other Christians, worry about persecution in a country now dominated by Islamists. Notably, Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, did not attend the ceremony himself, sending the Prime Minister instead. This drew criticism from attendees who felt he should have attended if he wanted to show inclusiveness.
Morsi has previously claimed he would rule inclusively, fairly representing all Egyptians.
However, this claim is becoming dubious, particularly as Egypt's new constitutions is drawn up. Christians and other minorities as well as moderate Muslims say their voices are being ignored as the conservative Muslim Brotherhood dominates the process and writes rules which make it more difficult to construct a church than a mosque.
Tawadros II told reporters that he would oppose any Constitution that only met Muslim concerns.
Meanwhile, Coptic Christians are happy to have a new pope. Applause repeatedly roared through the Cairo cathedral during the ceremony as Tawadros II, formerly trained as a pharmacist, was given red and gold vestments to wear as well as the papal scepter and crown.
The new pope did not speak during the event, but instead had a prepared statement read for him to the assembly.
Tawadros II is the Coptic Church's 118th pope.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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