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Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church extends suspension of prayers, including Holy Week services, due to coronavirus

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church extends suspension of prayers, including Holy Week services, due to coronavirus

Ahram Online , Thursday 2 Apr 2020
 Egyptian Orthodox Church.
File photo of an Egyptian Orthodox Church. (Photo: Reuters)
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The Coptic Orthodox Church has said that it will further extend the suspension of prayers and activities in its churches, including Holy Week prayers, until the coronavirus epidemic is contained.

The church said in a statement on Thursday that it will halt many important occasions and rituals that were scheduled to take place in the near future.

Easter Sunday falls on 19 April this year.

Holy Week prayers and the preparation of chrism, the holy anointing oil, are among the activities that will be halted due to the suspension, the church, to which the majority of Egyptian Christians belong, explained in its statement.

Marriage services have also been halted, while funerals are being limited to the family of the deceased.

The church added in the statement that it will donate EGP 3 million to the state charitable fund Tahya Masr to purchase ventilators.

It also directed the sewing workshops in different parishes to contribute to making medical garments needed for medical workers, to assist them in their “greatly appreciated national efforts.”

On Friday, Al-Azhar, Egypt's top Sunni Islamic authority, donated EGP 5 million to the fund, as a contribution to Egypt’s efforts in fighting coronavirus.

On 11 March, Egypt suspended mass prayers at mosques in an unprecedented move aimed at curbing the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The Coptic Orthodox Church also suspended services on that date.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Egypt stands at 865, as of Thursday.

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