Egypt's new pope says Copts marginalized for years

 Egypt

FILE - In this Sunday, May 20, 2012 file photo, the Muslim Brotherhood's presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi hold a rally in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Fredrik Persson, File)

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's new Coptic pope says the country's Christian minority has been "intentionally" marginalized for years. He called on the new Islamist president to send reassuring messages after what he called threatening and disrespectful campaigns.

Pope Tawadros II said Egypt's richness lies in its cultural mix between Muslims and Christians.

He was speaking in an interview aired Monday on a private TV station, a day after he was selected to head the ancient Coptic church. He succeeds charismatic Pope Shenouda III, who died in March after four decades as Coptic leader.

Tawadros said President Mohammed Morsi should give reassurances to Christians after what he called "unacceptable" media and public campaigns.

Christians have become increasingly wary of the rising political power of Islamists, coupled with perceived threats against their freedom of worship.


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