One of the many challenges facing the new pope is how best to help Christians who feel persecuted in North Africa and the Middle East.
In Egypt which has one of the largest Christian communities in the region out reporter asked Bishop Krikor Augustinos Coussan, Primate of the Armenian Catholic Community there what Christians were hoping from Pope Francis:
“We ask the pope to use all his power to bring a comprehensive and equitable peace especially in the Middle East, the country of Jesus and the apostles who carried the gospel of Christ and his teachings to the whole world.”
Many Christians living in Egypt and neighbouring countries have watched with alarm as Islamist parties have gained influence in the wake of the Arab Spring revolutions.
Our reporter in Cairo Mohammed Shaikhibrahim, said: “While pursuing a dialogue and maintaining the peaceful coexistence between Eastern Christians and Muslims there are critical issues awaiting consideration by the new pope. What will be his policy to avoid any tensions in the area where there are many conflicts and changes happening both locally and in the wider region known to be the cradle of three of the world’s major religions.”