Egypt’s Catholics celebrated Christmas on Tuesday amid heightened security to secure the celebrations.
The Catholics Media Office announced the beginning of the mass in several churches nationwide, including Holy Virgin Mary Coptic Catholic Cathedral.
They celebrated at different times with Christmas carols in Arabic and English, as the churches were adorned with Christmas lights and trees.
Anglican Diocese of Egypt are also celebrating Christmas today at the All Saints Cathedral in Zamalek, headed by Archbishop Monir Hanna Anis.
In Alexandria, the pastor of the Cathedral of Resurrection of Coptic Catholics, Yohanna George, said that new CCTV cameras were installed to monitor any violations or assault on the cathedral during Christmas.
Heliopolis’ Saint Fatima’s Catholic Church will also see the mass, with the mass seeing attendances by a delegate from President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, senior officials, police and armed forces members, and others.
Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church is also seeing a celebration of the mass.
A girl lights candle during a mass on Christmas eve at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Cairo, Egypt December 24, 2019. (Reuters)
Egypt's Christians make up about 10-14 percent of the country's 100 million population, with Catholics estimated at around 500,000.
Unlike other western denominations who celebrate Christmas on 25 December, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Christians celebrate on 7 January due to the use of a different calendar--the Julian calendar.
Earlier this week, Egypt's interior ministry said it has intensified security measures nationwide ahead of Christmas and New Year Eve, deploying security in main streets, axes and squares, and around vital institutions and houses of worship, to maintain security and respond promptly and decisively to those who attempt to disturb celebrations.
A priest leads the Christmas eve mass at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Cairo, Egypt December 24, 2019. (Reuters)
A general view of the altar is pictured during a Christmas eve mass at Saint Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Cairo, Egypt December 24, 2019. (Reuters)