Coptic pope to visit Kuwait next week: Egyptian ambassador

Ahram Online , Friday 21 Apr 2017

Pope Tawadros
Pope Tawadros II, the pope of the Coptic Orthodox church (Photo: Reuters)

Pope Tawadros will visit Kuwait on Sunday at the invitation of the emir in the first such visit to the Gulf state by a Coptic Orthodox patriarch, Egypt’s ambassador to Kuwait said Friday.

During the four-day visit, the Coptic cleric will inaugurate a new cathedral.

Ambassador Yasser Atef told Egyptian state news agency MENA that the pope will also hold spiritual meetings and attend a celebratory dinner alongside the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Kuwait, Bishop Bishoy.

Tawadros will meet the emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Gaber Al-Sabah, to thank him for his support for the Coptic Orthodox Church, and will also meet with Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, as well as Prime Minister Jaber Al-Mubarak.

Atef stressed the "deep roots of the bilateral relations between the two countries, which are based on shared Arab destiny."

On Friday Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, will arrive in Egypt for a two-day visit, during which he will meet with Tawadros, as well as with President El-Sisi and other officials.

Unofficial estimates put the number of Coptic Orthodox Christians in Egypt at around 10 to 15 percent of the population. An estimated 1-2 million Copts live abroad, with large congregations in the US, Canada, and several European and Gulf states.

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