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.
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 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.
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.
Today, Egypt’s Christians experienced yet another targeted attack, with a bombing of the Church of Saint George in Tanta during what was meant to be a joyous day of families celebrating Palm Sunday. A few hours later there was a second bombing in Alexandria, killing innocent men, women and children as they left a Palm Sunday Liturgy that was officiated by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark.
While it is still too early to determine responsibility, what is undeniable is the senseless and heartless brutality that can lead a person or people to indiscriminately take innocent lives, especially at the most vulnerable hour of prayer.
John Anton (Special Correspondent in Egypt) – OCP News Service – 9/4/17
Alexandria: Apart from the deadly bombing (today morning hours) at Mar Girgis Coptic Orthodox Church in Tanta that claimed the life of 28 people, another bomb exploded outside the St. Marks Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria, where Pope Tawadros II was celebrating Palm Sunday Liturgy. Two people were killed and more than twenty one were injured. Pope Twadros II is safe.
Source: OCP News Service