CAIRO (AP) -- Tens of thousands of Egypt's Coptic Christians are taking part in a funeral mass led by senior clerics for the death of their patriarch, Pope Shenouda III, at the main cathedral in Cairo.
Shenouda died on Saturday at age 88 after spending 40 years at the helm of the Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the world's most ancient Christian denominations. Most of Egypt's estimated 10 million Christians are Orthodox Copts .
Shenouda's body will be flown later on Tuesday for burial in the desert St. Bishoy monastery northwest of Cairo.
Egypt's Coptic Christians have long complained of discrimination by the nation's Muslim majority. The political ascent of Islamists since the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak has added to their worries.