Sunday, November 04, 2012

Egypt Selects New Pope for Coptic Christians

Egypt selects new pope for Coptic Christians

Sun Nov 4, 2012 4:42PM GMT

Bishop Tawadros has been selected as the new pope of the Egyptian Coptic Christians and the 118th patriarch of the country's Orthodox Church.

The bishop from the Nile Delta Province of Beheira was chosen from among three candidates.

Bishop Rafael, 54, a medical doctor and current assistant bishop for central Cairo, and Father Rafael Ava Mina, 70, were the two other candidates.

Based on an ancient church tradition, a blind-folded altar boy pulls the name of one of the candidates out of a box.

The 60-year-old bishop is to assume his new position on November 18.

Tawadros, also known as Wagih Sobhy Baqi Suleiman, succeeds Shenouda III, who passed away earlier in the year. The late pope had headed the Coptic Church from 1971.

Shenouda died at a pivotal time for Egypt, after a series of deadly clashes between forces of Egypt’s then-ruling military junta and the Coptic minority following the revolution, which led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, early in 2011.

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