It was whilst searching for something else online that I came across the news that the Coptic Church elected its new Pope Tawadros II in Cairo over the weekend. To give him his fuller title he is Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of all Africa on the Holy See of St Mark the Apostle, and succeeds Pope Shenouda III who died earlier on this year.
There is an introduction to the history of the office he holds here and another about the several Patriarchs of Alexandria here.
Pope Tawadros II
The original article I found can be read here, with its description of the election process and how the Holy Spirit is seen to work in the election of the Coptic Pope.
There is more on the background and on the challenges facing Pope Tawadros and the Coptic Church from the BBC here ,from the Guardian here and from the New York Times here.
Given the recent political changes in Egypt and the effects of the Arab Spring and the invasion of Iraq on the Christian communities in the Middle East the new Pope and his people as well as the other Christian churches in the region deserve our continuing prayers and support.