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Jerusalem Copts hope new bishop brings renewed support

The small Egyptian Christian community in Jerusalem was pleasantly surprised and encouraged by a visit from Pope Tawadros II.

Members of Jerusalem's small Coptic Christian community were thoroughly surprised when the leader of the worldwide Coptic Orthodox Church broke a papal-imposed boycott and visited them. The arrival of Pope Tawadros II followed the death of Bishop Anba Abraham, the longtime spiritual leader of the Coptic church in Jerusalem and Palestine. The pope officiated at the funeral service held Nov. 28 in Jerusalem, where the bishop had requested to be buried.

Abraham, who became a priest in Egypt in 1990 and was appointed to head the Church of the Holy Land in 1992, died Nov. 25 at the age of 72. Church officials told Al-Monitor that given the high rank of the bishop in the church, his funeral service could not be performed by priests or even bishops of the same rank — only by Tawadros.

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