Upper Egypt's Minya Diocese cancels Easter celebrations after Palm Sunday bombings

Ahram Online , Tuesday 11 Apr 2017

Tanta Church
A relative of one of the victims reacts after the church explosion in Tanta, Egypt, April 9 (Photo: Reuters)

Bishop Macarios of Minya and Abu Qirqas in Upper Egypt announced on Tuesday the cancellation of this year's Easter celebrations in his diocese.

The announcement comes after two suicide bombings hit Mar Girgis Cathedral in Tanta and St Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria on Palm Sunday, killing 46 and injuring dozens in the deadliest attack on Copts in the country's recent memory.

The cancellation of celebrations will apply to all churches in the diocese "due to the current circumstances the country and the Church are witnessing," the bishop announced in a statement on the diocese's Facebook page.

"The Easter mass will be limited to prayers only," the statement said. 

"We apologise that we will not be receiving felicitations from officials or regular citizens. The Diocese also appreciates all the kind regards it has received from everybody."

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

Egypt's main Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo has not announced the cancelling of Easter celebrations. 

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

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

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