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Egypt’s Christians In Peril

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Posted on February 16 2010 4:54 am
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by Faith J. H. McDonnell

At midnight every January 6th, Christmas Eve Mass ends and the early hours of Christmas Day begin for the Coptic Church in Egypt. As Orthodox Christians, descendants of Egypt’s ancient Christianity that far outdates Islam, the Copts have to wait longer for Christmas festivities than those who celebrate on December 25. Perhaps to emphasize that the long-anticipated day has arrived, the Mass celebrating Christ’s birth ends with the joyous ringing of bells as Egyptian Christians, dressed in their finest clothes, head home to continue their Christmas celebrations.

It is unusual for church bells to ring before midnight. But such was the case this past January 6, 2010, at Mar Yohana (St. John’s) Church in Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt, the town famous for the discovery of the Gnostic Gospels. The church’s pastor, Bishop Anba Kirollos, was concerned by threats made against the Christians and decided to start Mass an hour early. At 11:00 P.M., church bells rang and worshippers streamed out the doors. It was a perfect time for an attack on the Christian community.

Read more at FrontPage Magazine.

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