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Egypt's Coptic Pope heads to US for treatment

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.africasia.com/services/news/newsitem.php?area=mideast&item=080506101825.94dotddx.php 06/05/2008 10:18 CAIRO, May 6 (AFP) Egypt s Coptic Pope heads
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      http://www.africasia.com/services/news/newsitem.php?area=mideast&item=080506101825.94dotddx.php

      06/05/2008 10:18 CAIRO, May 6 (AFP)
      Egypt's Coptic Pope heads to US for treatment

      The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Shenuda III, has
      left for the United States for medical treatment, the Coptic Orthodox
      Lay Council which manages the church's affairs said.

      The 84-year-old patriarch left Cairo late on Monday on an unscheduled
      trip to Cleveland, Ohio, Dr Tharwat Bassily of the council told AFP,
      on what he said was a "routine check-up".

      The independent daily Al-Masry Al-Yom, however, reported that Shenuda
      had left for the United States after suffering from severe kidney pain.

      "His doctors in Cleveland advised him to head to the United States
      immediately," the paper said.

      Shenuda has made several health-related trips abroad over the past two years.

      He is the 117th successor of Saint Mark, who according to tradition
      founded the Coptic Church in the first century AD. He has headed the
      church since 1971.

      Copts are estimated to make up six to 10 percent of Egypt's 76
      million people and are the largest Christian community in the Middle East.
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