Egypt's Copts commemorate Good Friday

Ahram Online , Friday 10 Apr 2015

Security has reportedly been upped across the country to protect churches

File Photo: Pope Tawadros II leading the Coptic Christmas Eve Mass, in Cairo 6 January 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Thousands of Coptic Egyptians flocked to Churches nationwide to commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion on Friday.

Egypt’s main Orthodox cathedral in Cairo’s Abbassiya district, along with churches nationwide, traditionally holds prayers from the early hours of the morning to around 5pm on Good Friday, a day also known in Egypt as “Sad", "Great” or “Holy” Friday.

Pope Tawadros II led the mass prayers in Abbassiya’s cathedral, after spending the past days in Wadi Al-Natroun and Saint Mina monasteries.

Churches will hold another mass on Saturday, before a celebratory mass on Easter Sunday.

Security has reportedly been upped across the country to protect churches.

Islamist militants have previously been blamed for carrying out attacks against churches in Egypt.

The most notable incident was on 31 December 2010, when a bomb detonated outside the Saints Church in Alexandria, killing at least 21 people.

According to biblical beliefs, Jesus was arrested and sentenced to death after he was accused of blasphemy. He carried his cross to the site of his execution outside Jerusalem's walls, where he was crucified along with two convicted criminals. Jesus agonised on the cross for six hours.

During his last three hours on the cross, from noon to 3pm, darkness fell across the land, according to the New Testament, before, with a loud cry, Jesus gave up his spirit.  

The cross symbolises essential belief in the Christian faith.

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