You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Egypt’s Copts select new pope

New leader faces challenge of fear and uncertainty

Bishop Tawadros of Egypt’s Coptic Christian Church will be ordained as Pope Tawadros II on Nov. 18.

Roger Anis/El Shorouk Newspaper/Associated Press

Bishop Tawadros of Egypt’s Coptic Christian Church will be ordained as Pope Tawadros II on Nov. 18.

CAIRO — Egypt’s ancient Coptic Christian Church named a new pope on Sunday to spiritually guide the community through a time when many fear for their future with the rise of Islamists to power and deteriorating security after last year’s uprising.

The death earlier this year of Pope Shenouda III, a familiar figure who led the church for 40 years, heightened the sense of insecurity felt by many Egyptian Christians. They will now look to Bishop Tawadros, who will be ordained Nov. 18 as Pope Tawadros II, to fill the void in leadership.

Continue reading below

Tawadros, 60, was chosen in an elaborate Mass where a blindfolded boy drew the name of the next patriarch from a crystal chalice.

‘‘The situation for us in Egypt is not stable,’’ said Peter Nasser, 27, a volunteer at the Mass. ‘‘We hope the incoming pope will make our problems known to the outside world,’’ he added, voicing hopes that Tawadros will also raise the profile of Christians in this country.

Nasser accused the current government, led by President Mohammed Morsi of the Islamic fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, of discriminating against minorities. He asserted that the new leadership does not work in the interest of all Egyptians.

But even under authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak, who ran Egypt for nearly three decades until he was ousted in February 2011, rights groups say police were lax in pursuing and punishing those who attacked Christians, and few Copts were named to genuinely powerful posts in government.

Morsi, who was elected in Egypt’s first free presidential race, has named a number of Christians as advisers and vowed to work closely with the community. But Christians are skeptical.

Morsi congratulated Tawadros and spoke of Egyptian ‘‘unity’’ and ‘‘brotherly love’’ between Copts and Muslims.

Copts, estimated at about 10 percent of the country’s 83 million people, have long complained of discrimination by the Muslim majority state. Under both the old regime and the new Islamist leadership, violent clashes with Muslims have occasionally broken out, often sparked by church construction, land disputes, or Muslim-Christian love affairs.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.