Coptic Christians Display Resolve Amidst Severe Persecution
After twin bombings on Palm Sunday in the Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Tanta, which killed 45 Christians, churches in Minya have refused to cancel Easter celebrations.
Some churches have scaled back religious services, offering events with only liturgical prayers rather than those with a more festive atmosphere.
According to The Christian Post, Egypt is observing a three-month state of emergency following the suicide bombings. The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Pope Francis is undeterred in his plans to attend a visit to Cairo on April 28-29, calling for solidarity in Egypt with the Coptic Christians, which comprises about 10 percent of the population.
“The pope’s mission is to be beside his brothers at the time of difficulty. Now is the real time that he can bring peace and hope to the Egyptian people as a whole and to the Christians of the East, in particular,” said Father Rafic Grieche, according to Catholic News Service.
Christians are committed to their faith in the face of persecution before them, said Grieche, even despite the added burden of having to pass through metal detectors to attend church services.
“It’s not like going to a normal church. But we need these measures to keep people safe,” he said.
Grieche added that after the Palm Sunday bombings, he celebrated Mass with 2,000 people.
“The Copts are an inspiring group that has been under so much pressure for their faith and yet they are standing strong and really showing the love of Jesus in the face of great opposition,” said David Curry, CEO and President of Open Door USA, to The Christian Post.
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