Churches in Southern Egypt to Curtail Easter Celebrations After Deadly Bombings

Several Egyptian churches in the southern city of Minya said on Tuesday that they will cut back on Easter festivities in solidarity with the families of 45 Coptic Christians killed in the attacks in Egypt’s northern cities of Tanta and Alexandria earlier this week. The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said in a statement that, in mourning for victims of the twin terror attacks during Palm Sunday ceremonies, their celebrations will be limited to the liturgical prayers.

Russian parliament offers to replace bells of monastery in Maaloula, Syria

Deputies of the Russian State Duma have proposed replacing the bells at St. Thekla Orthodox Monastery in Maaloula, Syria, reports Interfax-Religion. “We, the members of the committee and panel for the protection of Christian values have addressed the patriarch with an offer to replace the bells in place of those earlier stolen from the Monastery of St. Thekla,” said Sergei Gavrilov, head of the Duma committee for the development of civil society and religious organizations. The legislator added that he and other Duma deputies from the Syrian relations group had personally been to St. Thekla’s while in Syria to visit Russian troops there. They saw firsthand the consequences of its capture by terrorists.

500 churches closed, 400 mosques opened in London since 2001

500 Churches of all denominations have been converted into private homes in London since 2001, while 423 new mosques have appeared in that time, often in converted church buildings, according to the not-for-profit international policy council and think tank Gatestone Institute. “London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together,” according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of London’s leading Islamic clerics. The number of English identifying as Anglicans dropped by 1.7 million, from 21 to 17% between 2012 and 2014, while the number of Muslims grew by nearly a million, with converts often embracing the violence of Islam.

Palms Sunday in Damascus

Palms Sunday in Damascus
Palms Sunday in Damascus
Palms Sunday in Damascus
Palms Sunday in Damascus

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on the occasion of Palms Sunday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.

1400-year-old Byzantine coins found near Jerusalem

A stash of bronze coins dating to the fifth through seventh centuries has been found on the highway leading to Jerusalem in an archaeological excavation that began in June 2016. Archaeologists believe the coins may have belonged to Christians fleeing the invading Persian forces, reports Christian Today. The coins discovered by the Israel Antiquities Authority were easily dated as they bear the image of the Byzantine emperors during whose reign they were made. Three periods are represented in the find: the reigns of Emperor St. Justinian (483-565), Maurice (539-602), and Phocas (547-610). Each coin depicts its respective ruler in military dress and bearing a cross.