Egypt's Coptic church names new pope

CAIRO Sun Nov 4, 2012 4:45am EST

Egyptian Coptic priests line up to vote in an election for a new pope at the Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo October 29, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Egyptian Coptic priests line up to vote in an election for a new pope at the Saint Mark's Coptic Cathedral in Cairo October 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

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CAIRO (Reuters) - The Coptic Orthodox church chose a new pope, Bishop Tawadros, on Sunday to lead the Middle East's biggest Christian community after dramatic political changes in Egypt swept Islamists to power.

In a sumptuous ritual filled with prayer, chants and incense at Abbasiya cathedral in Cairo, the 60-year-old bishop's name was picked by a blindfolded child from a glass bowl in which the names of two other candidates had also been placed.

Tawadros replaces Pope Shenouda III who led the church for four decades until he died in March aged 88. Many will look to the new pope to ensure the voice of Christians, who have long complained of discrimination in Egypt, are heard.

(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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