Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi sent on Monday his greetings to Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the St Mark Diocese Tawadros II on the occasion of Easter, hours before a mass that will be held with no public participation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a statement by the presidency spokesman, El-Sisi praised the “honest and kind” sentiments between Christian and Muslim Egyptians, and prayed for the country’s safety during such a critical time.
He also sent his Easter greetings to Egyptian Copts abroad, wishing them progress and prosperity.
Coptic Orthodox Christians – who comprise a substantial majority of Christians in Egypt – will celebrate Easter on Sunday.
However, this year, the coronavirus outbreak will force Copts will celebrate Easter at home, as Egypt continues with its unprecedented measures to stem the spread of the virus, including a nationwide night-time curfew and suspension of prayers and activities at all houses of worship.
Easter mass will be led on Saturday by Pope Tawadros II at the Monastery of Saint Bishoy in Wadi El-Natrun and will be aired live on Egyptian TV channels.
This is the first time that Easter mass will be held under the current patriarch at a location other than Cairo’s Saint Mark's Cathedral and without attendants or worshippers
The pope will not receive guests at the Cairo Cathedral in light of the preventative measures taken to curb the spread of the virus, a spokesman for the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church said in earlier press statements.