Coptic Church Names New Pope

A follow up to Thursday’s post: on Sunday, the Coptic Orthodox Church named its 118th pope, Tawadros, a bishop from the Upper Nile region. Pope Tawadros now has what Walter Russell Mead ruefully calls “the toughest job in the world”:  negotiating for the Christian minority in an Egypt governed by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, as well as their political rivals, the even more fundamentalist Salafists, have talked about increasing the role of Islamic law in Egypt. The National (United Arab Emirates) reports:

At the center of the political squabbling in Egypt is the role of Islam in the country’s new constitution, currently being drafted. . . . Christians, along with liberal and secularists, oppose demands by Islamists to increase the role of Shariah. The prospects of a stronger role for Islamic law in legislation increase the community’s concern of further marginalization, or of a curtailing of their rights of worship and expression.

Al Jazeera also has interesting coverage, including a group interview with scholars and representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Coptic Church.

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