Egypt: Christians to tone down Easter festivities, paying homage to victims of Palm Sunday attacks

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Egypt’s main diocese, Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Minya has announced that it will tone down the festive celebrations of Easter; out of respect for the victims of the recent attacks on two churches in Egypt. The diocese had decided that it will not hold Easter celebrations this year as it mourns for the 46 Christians who had been killed in the Palm Sunday massacre.

Attacks on churches in Egypt

The Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Minya, stated on Tuesday April 11, that regular liturgical prayer services will be held commemorating the Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ, however there will be no festive manifestations of the celebrations. The diocese stated that this decision has been made out of respect for the believers who were slain by suicide bombers.

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On April 9, dozens were killed as a result of explosions at two Coptic churches in different cities in northern Egypt. Terrorists struck both churches when the worshipers were celebrating Palm Sunday. At least 46 people have been killed, and 100 were injured.

In the first incident, a bomb went off inside the Saint George’s Church in Tanta, a city in the Nile Delta region. At least 27 people were killed and 78 were wounded. Just a few hours later, another explosion unfolded in Saint Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria. Details emerged that a suicide bomber blew himself up killing at least 16 people and left 41 wounded.

Terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks. The terror group claimed that two of its fighters wearing suicide vests carried out the attacks at both churches. Furthermore, the group warned of more attacks.

Consequently, on Tuesday April 11, Egyptian Parliament unanimously consented to a state of emergency to be imposed in the country. Thus a state of emergency has been imposed in the country for a period of three months, after which it can be renewed if, need be. Under this state of emergency, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi now enjoys extraordinary powers such as setting up special courts, intercepting communications, imposing censorship, or even decreeing a curfew in the country. Heretofore, President Sissi had promised to protect Egypt’s Christian minority.

Egypt’s Christian community has now become a frequent target of the terrorist groups. In a similar attack, at least 30 Christians died in a blast at a church in Cairo. Terror group Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack.