Egyptian Coptic Pope makes first visit to Jerusalem since 1967 travel ban on Israel


Coptic Church says Pope Tawadros II did not obtain Israeli visa to visit Jerusalem since there’s no official travel restrictions for Egyptian citizens travelling to Israel.

By Reuters & Israel Hayom Staff


The Egyptian head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, made a rare visit to Jerusalem to preside over the funeral on Saturday of a Coptic bishop.

The leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II walks outside the Church of Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, Saturday – Photo: AP

The previous Coptic pope, Shenouda III, banned worshipers from traveling to Jerusalem more than three decades ago, despite a 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Since his death in 2012, Egyptian Copts have increasingly been seen on pilgrimages to Jerusalem.

Speaking outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, revered as the burial place of Jesus, Tawadros said his trip was personal, and church officials said it was not political.


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