ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Government authorities are showing great consideration
for the death of the Egyptian Coptic pope who will be buried in the monastery
where Sadat placed him under house arrest. Three people have been crushed by
grieving crowds with another 137 injured. In honour of the late patriarch, a
Christian and a Muslim family end a feud that cost 11 lives.
Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Tens of thousands of people are taking part in
the funeral of Shenouda III, the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church who died on
Saturday at the age of 88. The service is underway in St Mark's Cathedral, in
Cairo's Abbasseya neighbourhood. The authorities are showing great consideration
for the head of the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
Across Egypt, it is a day of national mourning, with flags at half mask. The
country's main leaders are paying their respect to the body, which will be flown
to Wadr Naturn (Nile Delta) after the ceremony for burial in the cemetery of St
Bushoy Monastery where the patriarch spent four years under house arrest
(1981-1985) after he criticised the regime of the late President Anwar
Coptic bishops from around the world are taking part in the service led by
Abuna Paulos, patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. "Because he is resting
does not mean that we lost him," the latter said.
Following tradition, Shenouda's body was removed from the coffin and placed
on the throne with his embroidered ceremonial red and gold vestments, a golden
mitre on his head.
The authorities took huge security measures around the cathedral and the
monastery where he will be buried. Many ambulances and medical staff are also
present. Two days ago, crowds crushed to death three people, injuring an
In honour of Shenouda's death, two families from a village in Minya province,
Upper Egypt, ended a long-standing feud that caused 11 deaths.
Provincial governor General Serag Eddin al-Rouby said that the two families,
one Muslim and one Christian, agreed to end the dispute when they heard about
the patriarch's death.
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