Middle East

Egypt's Copts Select Bishop Tawadros as Next Orthodox Pope

Unlike predecessor, Tawadros promises to prioritize “living with our brothers, the Muslims.”

Egypt's Christian community has been celebrating their newest leader since Sunday, when a blindfolded child selected Bishop Tawadros as pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Chosen by holy lot, Tawadros will serve as spiritual leader for Egypt's Coptic Orthodox, who comprise between 6 and 10 percent of the country's population of 83 million. Tawadros, a 60-year-old bishop of the Nile Delta province of Beheira, succeeds the much-beloved Pope Shenouda III, who died in March.

The task for Tawadros is monumental: Since the Egyptian uprising and overthrow of former President Hosni Mubarak, the Coptic church no longer enjoys protection under the new Islamist government, causing the papacy's political influence to diminish.

But Tawadros has promised in recent interviews to eschew the political role of his predecessor Shenouda, emphasizing religious integration instead.

According to The New York Times, Tawadros's priorities include "living with our brothers, the Muslims" and "the responsibility of ...

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