New leader of Egypt Coptic Christians enthroned
CAIRO, Egypt - Pope Tawadros II was enthroned as the new leader of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority on Sunday, November 18, in a ceremony at Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral attended by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, an AFP correspondent said.
Tawadros, 60, was chosen on November 4 to succeed Pope Shenuda III, who died in March after four decades on the patriarchal throne.
He becomes spiritual head of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East and 118th pope in a line dating back to the origins of Christianity and to Saint Mark, the apostle and author of one of the four Gospels, who brought the new faith to Egypt.
Shenuda, a careful, pragmatic leader, died at a critical time for the increasingly beleaguered minority, which has faced a surge in sectarian attacks after an uprising overthrew president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
The pope leads the country's Coptic Orthodox community. Christians make up between six and 10 percent of Egypt's 83-million population.
Amid increased fears about the community's future after the overthrow of Mubarak, Tawadros will be its main contact with Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. - Agence France-Presse