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His Holiness Pope Tawadros II



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PRESS RELEASE

THE HON. TONY ABBOTT MHR, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WARRINGAH

HIS HOLINESS POPE TAWADROS II

The Coalition congratulates the world’s Coptic community on the election in Cairo on Sunday of the 118th Coptic Pope, His Holiness Tawadros II.

In the Parliament in March, I acknowledged on behalf of the Coalition the Coptic community’s sadness on the death of their previous Pope, His Holiness Shenouda III, a beloved and respected figure who served for over forty years.

The Coptic community, including the tens of thousands in Australia, has much to be proud of. The Copts are the oldest and largest Christian community in the Middle East.

The Coalition is concerned that the Arab Spring has turned out to be more of a winter for Egypt's Copts. After increased violence during Egypt’s political turmoil of the past two years, they continue to be under great stress. To highlight the plight of the Copts, the community in Australia held a major prayer vigil in Sydney in October last year. As I said on that occasion, a democracy must be judged not by how effectively it implements the will of the majority but how effectively it protects of the rights of the minority.

The Coalition wishes His Holiness Pope Tawadros II every success in his new and important role.

6 November 2012