SAT-7 to live broadcast Coptic Pope's enthronement

Christian satellite channel SAT-7 will be broadcasting the enthronement of the next Coptic Pope live across the Middle East.

Bishop Tawadros was elected as the 118th Coptic patriarch in an altar ballot at St Mark Cathedral in Cairo earlier in the month.

His enthronement on 18 November will be captured in a special live broadcast lasting over two hours.

The Coptic Patriarch is the highly respected spiritual leader of about eight million Coptic Christians living in Egypt - the largest Christian community in the Middle East - and several million more now living in the West.

Bishop Tawadros comes to the helm of the Church as the Islamist-majority parliament drafts a new constitution and Christians in Egypt face increasing social discrimination.

Egypt's Christians will be looking to their Pope to guide them through uncertain times and speak up for their rights.

George Makeen, Programming Manager for SAT-7 ARABIC, commented on the new appointment: "The new patriarch is serving in a new era, where the future is unpredictable.

"Hopefully he will seize the opportunity and open links with all sectors of the church, with other Christian denominations, and with the whole of society - so Christians can continue to be the salt of the earth."

The former spiritual leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, passed away last March at the age of 88.

Dr Terence Ascott, International CEO of SAT-7, said: "His Holiness Patriarch Shenouda was elected in 1971. Since then the Coptic Orthodox Church has become much more international. Because of this and the fast changing political landscape in Egypt, the new patriarch will face a very different set of challenges than his late predecessor. He needs, and has our prayers."

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