Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Egypt's Coptic Pope cancels mass over security fears

CAIRO, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church cancelled celebrations for the Feast of Epiphany on Tuesday over concerns for the safety of the country's Christians after a New Year's Day bombing that killed 23 people.

Officials suspect an al Qaeda-inspired bomber was behind the New Year's blast outside a church in the port city of Alexandria. Islamist websites had carried repeated threats to attack churches and have since carried threats to strike again.

Pope Shenouda, who led mass on Coptic Christmas on Jan. 6, in a tense but incident-free service, will hold a small and closed celebration on Tuesday instead of the larger mass that had been planned, the pope's legal adviser said.

"Masses of Copts had decided to join the Pope in celebration, which caused fear for the lives of those people in the light of al Qaeda's threats and the tense environment after Alexandria's events," Naguib Gabriel said.
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Nathan L Hollenbeck said...

I work with a Coptic organization that operates throughout Egypt, primarily through church-based volunteers who visit the homes of the fatherless and widow in their areas, and connect them to various resources to break the cycle of poverty.

I do so as a non-Egyptian (yet as an Orthodox Christian) because I want to strengthen the Body of Christ in Egypt, so that the local Church there is best able to be salt and light in Egyptian society.

Coptic Orphans is available to speak in churches about the situation in Egypt. I personally have chosen to sponsor a child in Egypt as a way to encourage and support the Egyptian Body of Christ through an individual family.