x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Bishop Tawadros chosen as new Pope of Egypt's Copts

Acting head of the church Bishop Pachomius took the ballot from the boy's hand and, showing it to those crowded into St Mark's Cathedral, announced: "Bishop Tawadros".

Bishop Tawadros is the new Pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians.
Bishop Tawadros is the new Pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians.

CAIRO // Bishop Tawadros was chosen as new Pope of Egypt's Coptic Christians today when a blindfolded altar boy picked his name from a chalice in a ceremony invoking divine guidance for the beleaguered minority.

Acting head of the church Bishop Pachomius took the ballot from the boy's hand and, showing it to those crowded into St Mark's Cathedral, announced: "Bishop Tawadros".

The crowd erupted in cheers and applause as church bells tolled in celebration across the country.

Mr Tawadros, a 60-year-old doctor and Bishop for Beheira, was among three potential candidates chosen to replace Pope Shenuda III, who died in March.

He is to formally assume the position as spiritual head of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, which has become increasingly anxious at the Islamists' rise to power in Egypt.