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Egypt’s president visits Coptic cathedral, pontiff

The highly symbolic visit to Pope Tawadros II by Adly Mansour was made ahead of the Coptic Christmas on Tuesday

Published: Updated:

Egypt’s interim president has made a rare visit to see the pontiff of the nation’s Orthodox Christians at St. Mark’s Cathedral, the papal seat in central Cairo.

Sunday’s highly symbolic visit to Pope Tawadros II by Adly Mansour was made ahead of the Coptic Christmas, which falls on Tuesday.

Mansour was installed by the military on July 3 to replace Islamist President Mohammad Mursi, removed from office after just a year in which relations between the government and the country’s Christians were fraught with tension and distrust.

Egypt’s Christians account for some 10 percent of the nation’s 90 million people. They are mostly members of the Orthodox church, one of Christendom’s oldest. They long have complained of discrimination by the nation’s Muslim majority.