JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- The Egyptian head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros, made a rare visit to Jerusalem to preside over the funeral on Saturday of a Coptic bishop.
The previous Coptic pope 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 the city.
Speaking outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, revered as the burial place of Jesus, Pope Tawadros said his trip was personal, and church officials said it was not political.
Israel captured East Jerusalem and its walled Old City in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians want it as the capital of a future state.