AP Interview: Egypt pope criticizes constitution


AL-MUHARRAQ MONASTERY, Egypt (AP) — Egypt's Coptic Christian pope has sharply criticized the country's Islamist leadership in an Associated Press interview, saying the new constitution is discriminatory and Christians should not be treated as a minority.

Pope Tawadros II has been unusually vocal on politics since being enthroned in November as the spiritual leader of the Copts, Egypt's main Christian community. Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 85 million people.

Speaking to AP early Wednesday, Tawadros says parts of the Islamist-backed constitution "bore a religious slant, and that in itself is discriminatory." He took issue with President Mohammed Morsi's references to Christians as a minority, saying "we are a part of the soil of this nation. We are not a minority when it comes to value, history and the love of our nation."

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