Tawadros II has officially become the Pope of Egypt’s Coptic Church.
He will lead the largest community of Christians in an Arab country, around 10 percent of Egypt’s 83 million people.
“The Church and Copts are an integral part of the country. Their role is similar to that of Cairo’s Al-Azhar university and any other religious entity in Egypt,” said head of the opposition Constitution Party Mohamed ElBaradei.
Egypt’s ruling party, the islamist Muslim Brotherhood, is keen to keep the Pope and Church out of politics, with the party’s Supreme Guide Abdel Raham al-Bar reminding the new Pontiff of his statements about the Church’s purely spiritual role.
“The Church, as it has already stated on various occasions, plays a purely spiritual role. This is a church for Egyptians and it should not play any political role, as Pope Tawadros has announced,” said al-Bar.
Worried Christians who now find themselves living in a country dominated by an Islamist party and are worried about discrimination may be looking towards the Pope. This could especially be the case as Egypt tries to draft a new constitution meant to represent everyone.