Coptic Christians in Egypt are mourning the death of their patriarch, Pope Shenouda III.
The 88-year-old spent 40 years leading Egypt’s Christian minority.
Many people gathered at Cairo’s Abbaseya Cathedral hoping to see the body.
During his time in charge, Shenouda was also popular with Muslims and seen as a symbol of religious harmony.
“I would like to say that, Muslims included, we all love each other and this was what he used to speak about. When he spoke, he didn’t only speak of and for Christians but for all the Egyptian people and it wasn’t just talk; this is what he planted and harvested. All Egyptians are mourning his death, it’s a very difficult situation,” one man said choking back tears.
Mourners flocked to Egypt’s main Coptic church after hearing of Shenouda’s death.
His passing comes at a time when many of the country’s 10 million Christians feel vulnerable due to rising tension with Muslims and the resurgence of Islamic-based politics since the uprising last year.
Despite this, a statement on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party website expresses its condolences.
Shenouda’s funeral will be held on Tuesday. In the meantime, his body will be on display in the cathedral.