- Title: Egyptian Christians attend midnight mass in Cairo
- Date: 25th December 2016
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) COPTIC REPRESENTATIVE, ARCHBISHOP RUIS MORKOS, SAYING: "It has brought us together and is bringing us closer with our kind Egyptian brothers and sisters and all the leaders like the President and the officials. The sympathy with us was extraordinary. It was a nice sentiment."
- Embargoed: 9th January 2017 13:17
- Keywords: Egypt Christmas mass church
- Location: CAIRO, EGYPT
- City: CAIRO, EGYPT
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0075EDRNF9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Christians in Egypt celebrated Christmas two weeks after dozens were killed in a church attack targeting worshippers.
People of different nationalities gathered at the All Saints cathedral in Cairo for Christmas Eve prayers and carols amidst a feeling of sadness.
Coptic representative Archbishop Ruis Erdius said that despite the attack, festivities continue.
"It is the festival of peace and joy. The angels are in the sky and all glory for the Lord and joy to the people. Peace and joy to all the people."
On December 11, a bombing at Cairo's largest Coptic cathedral killed at least 25 people and wounded 49. Many of them were women and children attending Sunday mass, in the deadliest attack on Egypt's Christian minority in years.
Security sources said that at least six children were among the dead, with the blast detonating on the side of the church normally used by women.
The attack comes as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi fights battles on several fronts.
His economic reforms have angered the poor, a bloody crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has seen thousands jailed, whilst an insurgency rages in Northern Sinai, led by the Egyptian branch of Islamic State.
A worshipper, Fouad Samaan, said that the world has become "impossible".
"The world is impossible. We are sad for what is happening in the world. The peace is no longer there so we pray for the whole world. Syria, Libya, Iraq and Egypt. We pray for the whole world," said Samaan.
But Archbishop Morkos maintained that despite the attacks Egyptians are united.
"It has brought us together and is bringing us closer with our kind Egyptian brothers and sisters and all the leaders like the President and the officials. The sympathy with us was extraordinary. It was a nice sentiment," said Morkos.
Orthodox Copts, who comprise about 10 percent of Egypt's 90 million people, are the Middle East's biggest Christian community. Many orthodox Copts will celebrate Christmas on January 7.
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