Blindfolded boy selects new Coptic patriarch

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Egypt’s ancient Coptic Christian church chose a new pope in an elaborate ceremony yesterday in which a blindfolded boy drew the name of the next patriarch from a crystal chalice.

Bishop Tawadros, 59, an aide to the acting pope, was selected to become Pope Tawadros II, replacing Pope Shenouda III, who 
died earlier this year aged 88 after 40 years at the helm of the church.

All three senior clerics whose names were in the chalice were considered consensus candidates who stayed out of disputes both within the church and with other groups.

Bishop Tawadros will assume the papacy as Egypt’s Christians, estimated to make up 10 per 
cent of the country’s 83 million people, fear for their future 
amid the rise of Islamists to 
power in the wake of the 2011 
removal of leader Hosni 
Mubarak.