Egypt tightens security ahead of Coptic Christmas

Last year on the eve of Coptic Christmas, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, greets Coptic Pope Tawadros II at St. Mark's Cathedral, in Cairo. (AP)

Tens of thousands of soldiers and police have been deployed across Egypt to protect minority Christians and their churches on the eve of Orthodox Christmas.

The overwhelming majority of Egypt’s Christians are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which celebrates Christmas on January 7.

The Coptic pontiff, Pope Tawadros II, will lead Christmas Mass later Saturday at an unfinished cathedral in Egypt’s new Administrative Capital, a multi-billion dollar, under-construction project east of Cairo.

The tight security is in anticipation of attacks by militants who have targeted Christians since December 2016 with a series of bombings, killing about 100 people.

A militant opened fire outside a suburban Cairo church on December 29, killing at least nine people.

An ISIS affiliate has claimed responsibility for most attacks on Christians.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:56 - GMT 06:56