Egypt’s Evangelical Church will hold Easter mass without worshippers due to the coronavirus outbreak, a statement by the church read.
“Due to the global circumstances from an outbreak of the coronavirus, and as we are keen on protecting the health of everyone, we decided to hold the Easter mass without the public,” said Reverend Andre Zaki, the head of the Evangelical Church.
The mass, which will be held on Saturday at 1:30 pm at the Heliopolis Evangelical Church, will only be limited to Church officials.
It will be broadcast on Egyptian State TV and several Egyptian and religious satellite TV channels.
Meanwhile, the Coptic Orthodox Church’s Easter mass on Saturday will be off-limits for journalists due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Church said in a statement.
The church’s media centre apologised to journalists for not allowing them media coverage to any of the church’s events amid the current outbreak in infections.
It said that state TV will be the only outlet allowed to broadcast the mass.
Last week, Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II stressed the necessity of adhering to a 25 percent attendance rate in churches to confront a new severe rise in coronavirus cases in the country.
He stressed the importance of observing preventive measures against the virus, especially during the upcoming Holy Week.
Along those lines, 18 Coptic dioceses in 13 Egyptian governorates halted masses and congregational services during the holy week and Easter over coronavirus concerns.
The 18 dioceses are located in Luxor, Giza, Beni Sueif, Gharbiya, Fayoum, Aswan, Sohag, Qena, Assiut, Qalioubiya, Port Said, Ismailiya, and Suez.
On Wednesday, Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Sea of Saint Mark, led the Palm Sunday mass at the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, the martyr Abi Sven and Saint Anba Karas in Alexandria amid tight coronavirus precautionary measures.
The attendees of the mass adhered to wearing facemasks and kept physical distance at only 25 percent capacity of the church.
This year, the Holy Week begins on 25 April and ends with Easter on the evening of 1 May.
Last year, the pandemic forced Egyptian Christians to celebrate Easter at home, as Egypt adopted unprecedented measures in March 2020 to stem the spread of the virus.
Those measures included a nationwide night-time curfew, as well as the suspension of all prayers and activities at all houses of worship.
Pope Tawadros II led the Easter mass last year at the desert Monastery of Saint Bishoy in Wadi Al-Natrun without attendees.
Coptic Christians make up more than 90 percent of all Christians in the country.