Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Copts celebrate Christmas amid tight security; 'human shields'

Catholic World News - January 07, 2011

Amid tight security-- 70,000 policemen were stationed at Coptic churches throughout Egypt, and cars were banned from parking in front of churches-- the nation’s Coptic Christians commemorated Christmas Eve on January 6, less than a week after a church bombing killed 21 and injured over 100.

Hundreds of Muslims-- including two sons of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak-- stood around Coptic churches to act as "human shields," protecting against attacks. Mohamed el Sawy, a wealthy art dealer who organized the effort, explained that the terrorist attacks on Christians were an affront to all Egyptians. "We either live together or we die together," he said.

“I would like to condole our sons in Alexandria for the martyrdom of a large number of innocent people, who had committed no sin,” said Pope Shenouda III, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, during the solemn liturgy at his cathedral.

Observers reported that the attendance at services was high. “Whatever happens I must go to church,” one Coptic Orthodox layman told BBC. “If they try to shoot me or blow me up, I will still go because this is my religion. It is the birthday of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

An explosive device was found at a church in Minya, a suburb of Cairo.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,841 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,158.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: damian.riggs8445 - Jan. 07, 2011 11:31 PM ET USA

    Thank you, Egypt for your act of courage toward your brother and sister Egyptians.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! 22 hours ago
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17