Egypt Copts mark solemn Good Friday
April 14 2017 05:08 PM
Egypt
Egypt's Christians take part in a Good Friday procession in Cairo.

AFP/Cairo

Egyptian Copts observed a solemn Good Friday with prayers and fasting, as the community reeled from two church bombings that killed dozens on Palm Sunday.
The government had declared a state of emergency and called in the army to protect "vital" installations following last week's suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State group.
But in a reminder of sectarianism Copts often complain about, police officials said Muslims fought with Christians who tried praying in an abandoned home in a southern village on Thursday then set fire to four nearby homes.
Police reinforcements were sent to the town in the province of Minya, they said.
On Friday, Copts attended churches across the country. Last Sunday's suicide bombings at churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria killed 45 people.
On Saturday, the Orthodox will mark Easter, with Coptic Pope Tawadros II leading services in Cairo's Saint Mark's Cathedral.
The church had announced it would scale back Easter celebrations to a simple mass in the wake of the bombings.
"Given the current circumstances and our solidarity with the families of the dead, we are going to limit our celebrations to Easter mass," it said in a statement.
"There will be no decorations in churches and the rooms normally reserved for the reception of worshippers wishing to exchange season's greetings will remain closed," an official at the Coptic patriarchate told AFP.
The violence came ahead of Catholic Pope Francis's first visit to Egypt, which a Vatican official said will go ahead as planned on April 28 and 29 despite the attacks.



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