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Coptic Christians mourn death of Pope Shenouda III E


gyptian Christians mourned the death of Pope Shenouda III, the


longtime leader of the Coptic Ortho- dox Church, who died March 17 at the age of 88. Tributes came in from around


the world, with Pope Benedict XVI offering prayers and President Barack Obama praising Shenouda as an “advocate for tolerance and reli- gious dialogue.” Shenouda, the 117th Patriarch of Alexandria, ruled for 41 years amid


great political turmoil. A supporter of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, he was an outspoken advo- cate for Christians in a predomi- nantly Muslim nation. Olav Fykse Tveit, general sec- retary of the World Council of Churches and a Lutheran pastor, said Shenouda “taught us that mod- esty is the best way to serve Christ.” He hailed the patriarch as a “strong believer” in Christian-Muslim coexistence.


Bishoy.


Shenouda spent more than three


years in exile in the desert monastery of St. Bishoy after Anwar Sadat, then president of Egypt, stripped him of his powers for criticizing violence against Copts by Islamic extremists. Copts make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population. Mubarak freed Shenouda in 1985.


Shenouda was buried at St. Coptic leaders say there is no time-


table to pick Shenouda’s successor.


A wing & a prayer … Emanuel Lutheran Church,


Modesto, Calif., participated in the World Day of Prayer on March 2 by turning 300 sheets of origami paper into paper cranes. Several women of the church began mak- ing the cranes in January and David Holtz created a frame to hold them, giving the impression of prayers rising, said his wife, Margaret Holtz. The church was open to both mem- bers and the public from 3-6 p.m. for those wanting to pray.


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