Egyptian Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, began a multi-day visit to Belgium on Tuesday, where he is due to open a Coptic church.
This is the second stop for the pope in a weeks-long euro trip of pastoral duties that he began last week with a visit to Paris.
During his visit, which lasts for three days, the pontiff is due to open two churches including a Coptic Orthodox church in the port city of Antwerp and another church in the eastern city of Leuven, a statement by Egypt s foreign ministry said.
The pope is scheduled to meet with a number of Belgian government officials to express thanks for the country s recognition of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church among its authorised churches.
On Tuesday, Pope Tawadros II visited the European Parliament in the Belgian capital Brussels, where he met with the head of the European People s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber and leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats parliamentary group Iratxe Garcia.
He also met with the EPP Working Group on Intercultural and Religious Dialogue.