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Egypt's Copts to choose new spiritual leader in September

CWN - May 02, 2012

The Coptic Orthodox Church will elect a successor to the late Pope Shenouda III in September, a spokesman has announced.

Pope Shenouda, who had served a remarkable 40 years as leader of the Egyptian Christian body, died on March 17 at the age of 88. To date 14 Coptic bishops have emerged as candidates in a complex process to choose his successor.

The choice of a new head will be critical for the Coptic Church, not only because of the inevitable change after 4 decades with a single leader, but also because of the political turmoil in Egypt, where Islamic forces are gaining more control over the country’s affairs and the Coptic minority faces mounting insecurity.

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