CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church held a sumptuous service on Sunday to choose its new pope who Christians hope will help them navigate an Islamist-dominated political landscape and protect what is the Middle East’s biggest Christian community.
In a ritual steeped in tradition and filled with prayer, chants and incense at Abbasiya cathedral in Cairo, the names of three candidates chosen in a vote were placed in a wax sealed glass bowl. A child will later pull one name out at random.
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church has moved a step closer to picking a new pope when the shortlist was whittled down to three in a process the Christian minority hopes will deliver a leader to guide them safely through the upheaval of the Arab Spring.
CAIRO (Reuters) – A vote to help choose a pope for Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church began on Monday in a process the minority Christians hope will deliver a leader to guide them safely through the upheaval of the Arab Spring.
The previous incumbent, Pope Shenouda III, had led the church for four decades until his death in March at the age of 88. His successor will assume the post in a fast-changing Egypt where long oppressed Islamists are now in power – a major shift that is a source of alarm for the minority Christian community.
CAIRO (Reuters) – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday the Syrian government has agreed to a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha and that Damascus would announce the decision shortly.
The holiday starts on Thursday and lasts three or four days. Brahimi, a mediator appointed by the United Nations and Arab League, said some Syrian opposition groups he had been in contact with had also agreed to a truce in principle.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Hundreds of Egyptian liberals and leftists rallied in Cairo on Friday to demand that Islamists stop foisting their ideas upon society, saying the days of one-party rule ended with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
The turnout was less than organizers had hoped, suggesting opponents of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi have yet to capitalize on any popular disapproval with his first three months in office.
CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian school teacher was fired on Wednesday for cutting the hair of two 12-year-old girl pupils because they were not wearing Islamic headscarves, an act condemned as an illegal violation of human rights by a leading woman’s organization.
Iman Abu Bakr Kilany, a science teacher who wears a full veil, said she had been dismissed from her school in the southern town of Luxor following complaints by relatives of the girls – the only two in her class who did not wear headscarves.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Opponents and supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi clashed in Cairo on Friday in the first street violence between rival factions since the Islamist leader took office.
Islamists and their opponents threw stones, bottles and petrol bombs, and some fought hand-to-hand, showing how feelings still run high between the rival groups trying to shape the new Egypt after decades of autocracy, even though the streets have generally been calmer since Mursi’s election in June.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Opponents and supporters of Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi clashed in Cairo on Friday in the first street violence between rival factions since the Islamist leader took office.
Islamists and their opponents threw stones and bottles, and some fought hand-to-hand, showing how feelings still run high between the rival groups trying to shape the new Egypt after decades of autocracy, even though the streets have generally been calmer since Mursi’s election in June.
CAIRO (Reuters) – When Islamic scholar Zaghloul el-Naggar recommended the consumption of camel urine, describing it as an Islamic remedy for incurable diseases on a television show last month, the channel’s switchboard was bombarded with angry phone calls within minutes.
“Medicine is based on evidence … Surely I don’t need to be teaching you this?” well-known doctor Khaled Montassir told Naggar on the show, barely concealing his frustration. “I am not happy with what’s happening to Muslims because of your ideas.”
CAIRO (Reuters) – Popular Egyptian leftist politician and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahy said on Saturday he is confident a coalition of leftist groups he is working to unite will be strong enough to defeat Islamists and win a parliament majority.
Sabahy, in an unexpected outcome, came in third place in the first round of the presidential vote last May, behind well-known army commander and politician Ahmed Shafik and current president Mohamed Mursi, who was the candidate of the state’s most organized Muslim Brotherhood group.