May 12, 2021

Al Sisi inaugurates cathedral after explosion near church in Cairo

Al Sisi inaugurates cathedral after explosion near church in Cairo

Egyptian President Abdelfatah al Sisi today inaugurated a Coptic Christian minority cathedral presented as "the largest in the country", a day after an artifact exploded when it was to be deactivated near a church in Cairo, which caused the death of an officer.

The Cathedral of the Nativity, located in the new Egyptian administrative capital, about 30 kilometers east of Cairo, will be inaugurated entirely by the Egyptian president before the Coptic Christmas Mass, which will be officiated by the Coptic Pope Theodore II, indicated the state agency MENA today.

According to the state newspaper Al Ahram, the cathedral, which was partially opened last year, can accommodate 8,200 worshipers and occupies 30% of the 4 hectares of the complex in the area.

Ahmed al Tayeb, the Sheikh of Al Azhar, the most prestigious institution in Islam, as well as other religious and political leaders will also attend the mass.

In addition to the cathedral, Al Sisi is also scheduled to open today the Al Fatah Alim mosque, located in the new capital and, according to Al Ahram, "is expected to be one of the largest in the world" as it can accommodate 17,000 faithful

These two official acts take place after a new incident against the Christian minority that occurred yesterday in the Cairo district of Nasr City, east of Cairo.

The explosion took place near the Virgin Mary and San Mercurio Church when an explosives specialist tried to deactivate the device, placed inside a suitcase in front of the religious temple, and died of the detonation, a source of security told Efe.

In the incident, two other police officers were injured by the explosion, although his health is unknown, he added.

So far no group has claimed responsibility for this action.

Coptic Christian churches prepare to receive Christmas in the country that is celebrated tomorrow, January 7.

The Egyptian Armed Forces have taken extreme measures to ensure security during the Christmas celebrations of the Christian minority, which represents about 10% of the 100 million people living in Egypt.

This community has been the victim of brutal attacks by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) against its temples, as in December 2016 in Cairo, shortly before Christmas, and in April 2017 in Tanta and Alexandria, before Easter.


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