Pope Tawadros II arrives in Los Angeles
Pope Tawadros II - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria and Patriarch of St. Mark See landed in Los Angeles International Airport Thursday morning in a 5-day visit, Youm7 reported.

The Pope will start his visit with a reception at St. Mark Church in Los Angeles before he visits various parishes and dioceses including the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles and meets with religious leaders.

“In order to ensure the safety and organization of all the congregations, the Diocese has arranged for His Holiness to visit different areas of the Diocese for services targeted to different groups,” according to the webpage of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles.

The Pope arrived in the United States Wednesday in his first official trip to the U.S. since his papacy began in 2012. The Pope’s three-week pastoral tour includes visits to congregations in Atlanta, Florida, Nashville and California. Upon arrival and was greeted by several bishops and members of the clergy in Atlanta, including Bishop Serapion.

On Thursday, the Pope is scheduled to have a Divine Liturgy and Clergy Meeting at St. Maurice followed by an Arabic Youth Meeting at St. George (Bellflower.)

The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the oldest branches of Christianity that was founded by one of the 72 apostles sent forth by Jesus, professor of Coptic and Islamic history at Minya University Fathy Khourshid told The Cairo Post.

According to a 2012 report issued by the Egyptian State Information Service (SIS,) Copts (Egyptian Christians) represent 10 percent of the country’s population.

The word “Coptic” is derived from a Greek term meaning “Egyptian,” said Khourshid adding that the Coptic Church split from the Roman Church in a disagreement over the true nature of Christ.

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