Pope Tawadros leads Easter mass with limited attendance at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral (screenshot/national TV)
The head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church Pope Tawadros II led Easter mass on Saturday with limited attendance at St Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo’s Abbassiya district.
Only some bishops, priests and a limited number of people attended the mass under strict preventive measures against the coronavirus.
The cathedral reportedly did not receive any congregants.
Pope Tawadros also led the holy Good Friday prayers yesterday at the cathedral with a small number of attendees.
Coptic Orthodox Christians – who comprise a substantial majority of Christians in Egypt – celebrate Holy Saturday today, which is Easter eve and it is when Copts usually go to church before gathering at night to celebrate and break their 55-day fast.
The Christian religious week has been disrupted due to the pandemic for a second year now, with attendance limited to Church officials in order to stem the spread of the virus in the country.
Egypt is currently suffering from a third coronavirus wave and the number of new daily cases rose above 1,000, during the past four days, for the first time since 9 January.
Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Saturday that a spike in coronavirus cases in April was expected due to religious occasions, including the holy month of Ramadan.
As the country started its vaccination campaign in January, Zayed urged medical workers, the elderly and other priority groups to not hesitate in registering to take the vaccine.