Egyptian Coptic Christians Mark Christmas With Fear Of Future

Sarah El Deeb and Mariam Rizk, Huffington Post, Jan.06

Egypt’s minority Christians were celebrating their first Christmas after the election of an Islamist president and a new pope – and following adoption of a constitution many argue has an Islamist slant.

Christians gathered in Cairo’s main cathedral Sunday for Midnight Mass on the eve of Orthodox Christmas led by their new pope. Pope Tawadros II was elected in November to replace longtime Pope Shenouda III, who died in March after 40 years as the leader of the church.

Islamist President Mohammed Morsi called Tawadros with Christmas greetings and sent one of his aides to the Christmas mass.

Concerned for their future and their ancient heritage in Egypt, some Copts are reportedly considering leaving the country.

As Egypt struggles with the role of religion in society, many Copts are aligning themselves with moderate Muslims and secular Egyptians who also fear the rise of Islamic power.

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