Egyptian authorities have raised their terror alert status to the highest level and are reportedly prepared for potential attacks on Christmas and New Year’s Eve from radial Islamic groups in the nation’s places of worship.
Catholics celebrate Christmas on December 25, while Orthodox Christian’s observe it on January 7.
“Egyptian Christians are asking for prayers for God’s protection to paralyze the hands of the evil one so no terrorist attack, no shooting, no fear may spoil the joy and cause the loss of any lives or any injuries during the Christmas and the New Year’s Eve celebrations,” said a Christian leader in Egypt, according to aina.org.
Egypt is no stranger to extremist Islamic attacks. In January of 2010, a drive-by shooting at a church in the Egyptian city Naj Hammadi claimed the lives of at least seven Coptic Christians.
The following year, a bomb was detonated in the Sidi Bechr distrcit of Alexandria outside of the al-Qiddissin (Saints) Church, killing 21 people and injuring 71 of the 1,000 that had attended the services, aina.org notes.
Adelle Nazarian is on Twitter @AdelleNaz