The leader of Egypt’s Christian minority has banned his flock from confessing their sins over the telephone after a rise in phoned-in penitence.

"Confessions over the telephone are forbidden, because there is a chance the telephones are monitored and the confessions will reach state security," Pope Shenuda III told a newspaper, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Coptic population’s leader also banned Internet confessions, AFP said. Unlike Roman Catholic confessions, Coptic confessions are done face to face and are exclusively three-way conversations between sinner, priest and God.

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