Egypt's church amends Pope election laws for first time since 1957

In the past, only 3,000 Copts were allowed to vote to select the new church pope, out of a total population of 10 million, according to church statistics

In the past, only 3,000 Copts were allowed to vote to select the new church pope, out of a total population of 10 million, according to church statistics

CAIRO - The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the highest authority in the Egyptian Church, on Thursday introduced amendments to internal church laws that govern the election of the Pope for the first time since 1957, a church source said.

The amendments, which were approved during a six-hour meeting at the Papal Seat in the eastern Cairo`s Abbassiya neighborhood, include allowing more people to vote in the election of the Pope, the source told Anadolu Agency.

In the past, only 3,000 Copts were allowed to vote to select the new church pope, out of a total population of 10 million, according to church statistics.

Secretary of the Holy Synod, Bishop Thomas, said the amendments include the abolition of a previous income limit for Copts who had the right to vote in the election of the pope.

The amendments would prevent former candidates for the position of pope from running in the next elections, he added during a press conference on Thursday.

Bishop Thomas noted that the church started thinking about introducing amendments to church internal laws following the death of former Pope Shenouda III in order to modernize these laws.

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