Minya, Egypt, Apr 12, 2017 / 14:42 pm
After two bomb attacks on worshippers at Coptic Orthodox churches on Sunday, the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of Minya has announced it will celebrate Easter without the typical festive accoutrements.
The observance of Easter in the Minya Coptic Orthodox archdiocese will be limited to liturgical services "without any festive manifestations" in mourning for the nearly 45 Coptic Orthodox faithful who were killed in attacks on Sunday, the AP reports.
Two Coptic Orthodox churches were the targets of Islamic State bombings on April 9, Palm Sunday. The attack on St. George's in Tanta, nearly 60 miles north of Cairo, killed 28. Shortly after, another bomb went off outside St. Mark's cathedral in Alexandria, killing 17.
The attacks came only weeks before Pope Francis plans to visit Egypt to promote peace and dialogue between Christians and Muslims in the country. Pope Francis, after celebrating Palm Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Square, decried the violence and asked God to "convert the hearts of those who sow fear, violence and death, and those who make and traffic arms." He also expressed solidarity with Tawardos II, the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria.