CAIRO – The Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros III says he will be canceling most Easter celebrations, limiting them to a simple mass, following the recent twin attacks on churches by Islamic State militants that killed dozens of Christian worshippers.
During his sermon on Good Friday, Pope Tawadros said, "Easter celebrations shouldn't come at a time of offering condolences to our martyrs." He said that the Easter morning reception, in which worshippers exchange greetings, would also be cancelled. In a rare show of discontent and anger, several dioceses and monasteries across the country issued similar statements, blaming the government for failing to protect churches.
During Palm Sunday prayers, suicide bombers targeted two separate churches packed with worshippers in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta, killing 45.