Coptic Christians led by a child choose new leader

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt has selected Bishop Tawadros as its new pope. During a lavish ceremony at the Abbasiya Cathedral in Cairo on November 4, the name of the 60-year-old bishop was selected by a blindfolded child from a glass bowl that also contained the names of two other candidates.
 
Tawadros will succeed Pope Shenouda III, who headed the church for 40 years before dying in March at the age of 88.
 
Tawadros -- who worked for the powerful Bishop Pachomius, who served as acting head of the church following Shenouda's death -- is known as a theologian who eschews political matters. He will be formally consecrated as pope on November 18.
 
Copts are the largest Christian sect in the Middle East and make up as much as 10 percent of Egypt's population of 83 million people. They are part of a Christian community in Egypt that dates to apostolic times and long before the emergence of Islam from the wastes of Arabia.
 
They have long expressed concerns about discrimination in the Muslim-dominated country, fears that have increased since Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. Bombings and other terrorist attacks, along with rapes and forced conversion of women, have spiked in recent years. 



Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

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