A number of Egypt's churches have started ceremonies and gatherings on Friday, as the country's Coptic Christian community prepares to celebrate Christmas on 7 January.
The Anglican Church in Cairo will also begin its celebrations shortly with the attendance of representatives from several state institutions including Al-Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The Coptic Cathedral in Cairo is set to begin its Christmas mass on Friday evening, presided by Pope Tawadros II.
In recent days, the Coptic Cathedral received several visits from state officials, army commanders as well as Al-Azhar's Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb to pay his respects to the Coptic Orthodox community for Christmas.
Egypt celebrates this year's Christmas in the aftermath of a deadly suicide bombing on 11 December at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church — which is adjacent to the main Coptic Cathedral complex in central Cairo.
Twenty-seven people, mainly women and children, died in the attack, which was later claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
Following the attack, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi had ordered that St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church be renovated in time for the holiday on 7 January.
The Egyptian army completed the renovation of the bombed church on 31 December.