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Egypt's Coptic Pope to pay weekend visit to Upper Egypt's Sohag

During two-day visit, Coptic-Orthodox Pope Tawadros II will meet with local priests, monks and government officials, in addition to inaugurating new church

Ahram Online , Thursday 18 Apr 2013
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Egypt's Coptic-Orthodox Pope Tawadros II is set to arrive in the Upper Egyptian city of Sohag late Thursday, where he is expected to stay for two days.

While in Sohag, Tawadros will stay at the White Monastery of Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite.

A spokesman for Sohag's Coptic archbishopric said the pope planned to meet with local Coptic priests and monks, before inaugurating a new church on Friday.

Tawadros is also expected to meet with Sohag Governor Yehia Abdel-Azim at the monastery.

According to Sohag Security Director Mohsen El-Gendy, security has been stepped up around the monastery and major government buildings.

The papal visit comes almost two weeks after violent sectarian clashes in the town of Al-Khosous north of Cairo and subsequent sectarian violence outside Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral in the capital's Abbasiya district.

On 9 April, Tawadros went into seclusion at the Monastery of the Virgin Mary in Wadi Al-Natrun near Alexandria to protest alleged government neglect and security forces' alleged complicity in the recent sectarian unrest.

He resumed his papal activities on 14 April, however, when he performed mass at the cathedral in Abbasiya.   

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