Egypt’s Christians – mostly Orthodox Copts – represent about 10 per cent of the country’s majority Muslim population.
Coptic churches in the south of Egypt said they would not hold Easter celebrations this year, in mourning of the 45 Coptic Christians killed in the two Palm Sunday bomb attacks.
The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said it would be commemorating Easter ‘without any festive manifestations’.
‘The Easter mass will be limited to prayers only,’ a Facebook statement by Bishop Makarious of Minya and Abu Korkas said, according to Ahram Online.
The Minya diocese, located in Upper Egypt, south of Cairo, hosts the highest Coptic Christian population in the country.
It said the cancellation of services would take effect across all its churches, ‘due to the current circumstances the country and the Church are witnessing’.
At least 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured in Palm Sunday bombings on two Coptic churches in Egypt. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-month nationwide state of emergency following the attacks, and established a Supreme Council to Combat Terrorism and Fanaticism.
The bishop’s statement added: ‘We apologise that we will not be receiving felicitations from officials or regular citizens. The Eparchy also appreciates all the kind regards it has received from everybody.’