Born: Aug. 3, 1923
117th Pope of the Coptic Christian Church
Pope Shenouda III was chosen as Pope of Alexandria on November 14, 1971. His official title is Pope of Alexandria and the Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Apostolic of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria (he is commonly referred to as the Pope of the Coptic Christian Church).
He held the post until he died on March 17, 2012.
As head of the Coptic church, Pope Shenouda is a respected figure among the Coptic Christian community, which makes up 10-15% of the Egyptian population.
During the 2011 protests, Pope Shenouda advised the general public to remain at home to avoid instability and deteriorating security. Pope Shenouda also demanded that President Hosni Mubarak step down from his post if violence continued.
On February 15, 2011 Pope Shenouda congratulated the Youth of Egypt for a peaceful and pure revolution and thanked the army for protecting Egypt from strife and instability. He continued by paying his condolences to the families who lost a relative or friend during the protests.
Pope Shenouda’s influences go beyond Egypt’s borders and into North America, Asia, Africa and Europe to shed light on the Coptic Orthodox Church, build churches and appoint bishops.