Egypt's Catholic Church suspends Christmas festivities after Cairo bombing

Egypt's Catholic Church suspends Christmas festivities after Cairo bombing
2 min read
16 December, 2016
Egypt's Catholic Church has announced the suspension of this year's Christmas festivities to show solidarity with the Coptic Orthodox Church after one of its churches was bombed on Sunday.
The blast killed 25 people and injured more than 40 others [AFP]

Egypt's Coptic Catholic Church is cancelling this year's Christmas celebrations at its churches in solidarity with the Coptic Orthodox Church over the bombing of one of its churches earlier this week.

According to Church spokesperson Father Rafic Greiche, mass will still be held on Christmas eve at Catholic churches.

The Cairo bombing at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, the seat of the Egyptian pope and the country's main church, killed 25 people and injured more than 40 others.

The blast shattered windows and scattered pews through the interior of the church, scorching its marble pillars.

On Wednesday, the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the bombing while vowing more attacks.

Egypt's Coptic Catholic Church celebrates Christmas on 25 December as per the Gregorian calender, while the Coptic Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on 7 January as per the Julian calender.

Meanwhile, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi ordered the renovation of St. Peter and St. Paul Church to be completed before the Coptic Orthodox Christmas on 7 January.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a highway project on Thursday, Sisi said that the Armed Forces Engineering Authority would carry out the project.

Authority chief Kamel al-Wazir said the church would be restored to its original condition within 15 days.

Sunday's attack was the deadliest act of violence committed against on the country's Coptic Christian community since a 2011 suicide bombing killed more than 20 worshippers outside a church in the coastal city of Alexandria.