RELIGION
07/02/2013 04:43 pm ET

Pope Tawadros II Tweets Support For Protestors In Egypt

AP

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, tweeted his support Tuesday for the millions of people protesting in the streets of Cairo against the government of President Mohamed Morsi.

("How wonderful are the Egyptian people recovering their stolen revolution in a civilized manner with the idea of "rebellion" and its great youth's sacrifice. I pray for all the people of Egypt.")

The message from Tawadros, who was elected as the 118th pope of the church last November, is the latest example of the the religious leader speaking out for the rights of Coptic Christians in the majority Muslim country.

Shortly after his election, Tawadros accused Egypt's new constitution of being discriminatory against Christians in an interview with the Associated Press.

And as the New York Times reported last spring, the pope criticized the Morsi government again in April for not doing enough to stop a street fight that eventually led to an attack on the church's main cathedral and the death of six Christians.

Though Tawadros's church constitutes the largest religious minority in Egypt -- there are around 10 million Copts -- Christians as a whole still only account for 10 percent of the population.

Copts and Muslims in the region have long clashed, but tensions have reportedly been worse since the election of Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, than they were under former President Hosni Mubarak.

NBC news reported just a few weeks ago that Copts feel security on behalf of Christians is so weak that they're fleeing to the U.S. and Europe.

Though the pope tweeted his support, the website Coptic World noted that he also asked protestors in a tweet to express their opinions, but also to respect those of others.

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