(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

 

After a years-long battle with multiple illnesses, the man known as the Patriarch of Arabia passed away Saturday at the age of 88. Here’s the BBC.

 

“Egypt’s 10 million Coptic orthodox Christians are mourning the death of their religious leader, Pope Shenouda III. He’d been head of the church for 40 years and was seen as an important protector of the faith.”

 

Christian mourners gathered Sunday for mass, where the Pope’s body was on display seated in the Papal chair and dressed in ceremonial garb. Many Muslims also mourned the Pope, who was seen as a unifying figure. A writer for Al Arabiya explains.

 

“He strongly defended Arab causes, especially the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. ‘We will not enter Jerusalem again, until we go hand-in-hand with our Muslim and Arab brothers,’ he once emphatically declared.”

 

Shenouda advocated for greater recognition for Egypt’s Coptic minority, but he stood against more hardline elements of the group. He resisted calls for military intervention to protect Coptic rights, for example. Al Jazeera says, he sometimes took even more unpopular stances.

 

“During the revolution, the Pope spoke out against the uprising. … And again, when there were protests against attacks on Copts after the revolution, the Pope urged Copts to go home and stop demonstrating.”

 

But the Pope remained a popular figure among both Christians and Muslims. The chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood offered condolences on his passing. Euronews reports, the death of such a popular figure has many Copts worrying about the future.

 

“His passing comes at a time when many of the country’s 10 million Christians feel vulnerable, due to rising tension with Muslims and the resurgence of Islamic-based politics since the uprising last year.”

 

Pope Shenouda’s funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, and he will be buried at the St. Bishoy monastery per his requests. Ahram Online explains the rituals surrounding the selection of a new Pope.

 

“Candidates, chosen among monks and archbishops, must be at least 40 years old and have been monks for at least 15 years. Following an election, the names of the three candidates with the most votes are written on pieces of paper and placed in a box to be picked by a child — not more than nine years old — whose eyes are closed.”

 

Coptic Christians are estimated to make up between five and ten percent of Egypt’s population, though exact census numbers have not been released.

Pope Shenouda III, Head of the Coptic Church, Dies at 88

by Steven Sparkman
0
Transcript
Mar 18, 2012

Pope Shenouda III, Head of the Coptic Church, Dies at 88

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

 

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN

 

After a years-long battle with multiple illnesses, the man known as the Patriarch of Arabia passed away Saturday at the age of 88. Here’s the BBC.

 

“Egypt’s 10 million Coptic orthodox Christians are mourning the death of their religious leader, Pope Shenouda III. He’d been head of the church for 40 years and was seen as an important protector of the faith.”

 

Christian mourners gathered Sunday for mass, where the Pope’s body was on display seated in the Papal chair and dressed in ceremonial garb. Many Muslims also mourned the Pope, who was seen as a unifying figure. A writer for Al Arabiya explains.

 

“He strongly defended Arab causes, especially the right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. ‘We will not enter Jerusalem again, until we go hand-in-hand with our Muslim and Arab brothers,’ he once emphatically declared.”

 

Shenouda advocated for greater recognition for Egypt’s Coptic minority, but he stood against more hardline elements of the group. He resisted calls for military intervention to protect Coptic rights, for example. Al Jazeera says, he sometimes took even more unpopular stances.

 

“During the revolution, the Pope spoke out against the uprising. … And again, when there were protests against attacks on Copts after the revolution, the Pope urged Copts to go home and stop demonstrating.”

 

But the Pope remained a popular figure among both Christians and Muslims. The chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood offered condolences on his passing. Euronews reports, the death of such a popular figure has many Copts worrying about the future.

 

“His passing comes at a time when many of the country’s 10 million Christians feel vulnerable, due to rising tension with Muslims and the resurgence of Islamic-based politics since the uprising last year.”

 

Pope Shenouda’s funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, and he will be buried at the St. Bishoy monastery per his requests. Ahram Online explains the rituals surrounding the selection of a new Pope.

 

“Candidates, chosen among monks and archbishops, must be at least 40 years old and have been monks for at least 15 years. Following an election, the names of the three candidates with the most votes are written on pieces of paper and placed in a box to be picked by a child — not more than nine years old — whose eyes are closed.”

 

Coptic Christians are estimated to make up between five and ten percent of Egypt’s population, though exact census numbers have not been released.

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