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Egypt: Coptic leader suspends public audiences, fearful of violence

July 18, 2013

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church has suspended the weekly audiences that he ordinarily holds in Cairo, due to security concerns.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II cancelled his Wednesday audience on July 18; it was the 3rd consecutive week that he has chosen not to hold the meetings, at which he usually delivers a short catechetical address and leads the faithful in prayer—much as in a papal audience in Rome. A spokesman for the Coptic Church said that the Egyptian prelate has avoided the public gatherings “not so much because he fears for his life, but because he does not want people to gather for fear that some fool could throw a few bombs.”

Egyptian government officials have stepped up security protection for Pope Tawadros. But Coptic Christians have been the targets of several violent attacks in recent days.


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