Coptic pope cancels ordainment anniversary over Maspero violence

Emad Khalil

The head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenouda III, has decided to cancel celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of his ascension to the post, a church source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

The pope canceled the event, scheduled for 14 November, over the death of 27 people – mostly Coptic protesters – in the violence that erupted outside the Maspero state TV building in Cairo on 9 October.

Shenouda will head to Ohio in the US in mid-November for a one-month visit, during which he will undergo his periodical medical checkup, the source said, adding that he will meet with expatriate Coptic clerics during his visit.

The rampage at Maspero followed a march by mostly Coptic protesters denouncing increasing assaults on churches. Human rights groups accused the armed forces of violently confronting the demonstrations.

Several eyewitnesses said armored military vehicles ran over protesters, leading to their death. Military officials, however, denied the accusations and said the killings were unintentional.

Translated from the Arabic Edition