This is a summary. To read the whole story subscribe to BostonGlobe.com
CAIRO — Egypt’s interim president on Sunday made a rare visit to the Coptic pope ahead of this week’s Orthodox Christmas celebrations, underlining efforts by the military-backed government to project an image of inclusion ahead of a crucial referendum later this month.
The highly symbolic visit to Pope Tawadros II at the papal seat at Cairo’s St. Mark’s Cathedral by Adly Mansour was the first such visit since socialist leader Gamal Abdel-Nasser attended the cathedral’s consecration ceremony more than 40 years ago.
Mansour’s visit underlined the secular outlook of the military-installed government and signals a dramatic departure from the sectarian rhetoric of some of the more radical allies of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi during his one year in power and the tension and distrust that defined their relations with Christians.