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Pope Shenouda to lead tonight's Christmas mass amidst tight security

In a show of solidarity, large numbers of Muslims are expected to turn out in churches across the country for tonight's high-security Coptic Christmas mass

Ahram Online, Thursday 6 Jan 2011
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Egypt's Patriarch Pope Shenouda III will lead the Christmas mass at the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchy's Abbassiya Cathedral tonight amidst tight security.

For the first time, churchgoers will have to walk a long distance to reach the church, as the usually-packed parking lot of the patriarchal headquarters will be closed to vehicles.

It is expected that large numbers of Muslims will also show up for tonight's mass as part of what has been a widespread show of unity and solidarity. Prominent figures including politicians, ministers and ambassadors will also be attending mass in a unified and symbolic gesture of condemnation against the suicide attack that took place at Saints Church in Alexandria last Saturday claiming 21 lives.

Tonight's mass will start at 10 PM and continue into the early hours of Friday. The mass will be aired by the Egyptian television on both the Egyptian satellite channel and the local Channel Two. It will also air on the Coptic Orthodox Church's CTV and Aghapi.

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