GLOBAL ECONOMY

Egypt beefs up security outside churches ahead of Easter

FILE -- In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, soldiers guard a street near a church in downtown Cairo, Egypt. The Palm Sunday deadly bombings of two churches left Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi grappling with the question of how to defeat a tenacious insurgency by Islamic State group militants. His predicament comes at a time when he’s also tackling the problem of repairing a broken economy, carrying out tough reforms that have won praise from economists but have dealt a devastating blow to most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

FILE -- In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, soldiers guard a street near a church in downtown Cairo, Egypt. The Palm Sunday deadly bombings of two churches left Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi grappling with the question of how to defeat a tenacious insurgency by Islamic State group militants. His predicament comes at a time when he’s also tackling the problem of repairing a broken economy, carrying out tough reforms that have won praise from economists but have dealt a devastating blow to most Egyptians. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)  (The Associated Press)

Outside of Cairo's St. Mark's Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Pope, a dozen high-ranking police officers are stationed on all entrances, searching cars and scanning the area, as security measures are visibly beefed up outside churches before Easter prayers on Sunday.

The usually festive occasion is tainted with fearful apprehension after twin bombings in two cities killed 45 Coptic Christians this week on Palm Sunday.

The increased security measures on display outside churches across the country are meant to restore a sense of security for Egypt's Copts amid a war on the embattled minority declared by the Islamist State group, which has claimed Sunday's bombings.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi declared a three-month state of emergency following the Palm Sunday attacks.