Egypt's Catholic, Evangelical churches cancel Easter celebrations over Sunday church bombings

Ahram Online , Wednesday 12 Apr 2017

Egyptians attend the funerals of victims of the Palm Sunday bombings at St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Monastery "Deir Mar Mina" in Alexandria, Egypt April 10, 2017 Reuters

Egypt's Catholic and Evangelical churches have decided to cancel Easter celebrations on Saturday night after the two deadly suicide bombings that hit Mar Girgis Cathedral in Tanta and St Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria on Palm Sunday.

Father Andrea Zaki, the head of the Evangelical community in Egypt, said Easter celebrations will be cancelled and masses will be limited to prayer services in mourning of the victims of the attacks.

The secretary of Egypt's Coptic Catholic Church Emmanuel Ayad said on Wednesday that the Catholic Church has also decided to cancel Easter celebrations in solidarity with sister churches and the families of those killed in the attacks. 

On Tuesday, the secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church Bishop Rafael announced the cancelation of Easter celebrations and the limiting of Saturday night masses to prayers, with a reception of mourners on Sunday.

Christians are set to celebrate Easter in masses across the country's churches on Saturday night. 

Egyptian Copts make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 90 million and constitute the Middle East's largest Christian community.

The Sunday double deadly attacks on the two churches in Tanta and Alexandria, which left 46 killed and dozens injured, was the worst terrorist attack against the country's Christian population.

Last December, a suicide bombing hit Cairo's St. Peter and St. Paul's Church, killing 29 worshipers, mostly women and children.

Correction: An earlier version of this piece indicated that the Egyptian Anglican Church has decided to cancel Easter celebrations on Saturday night. In fact, it is the Evangelical Church.


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