Churches in Southern Egypt Will Not Celebrate Easter

Coptic priests stand near the coffins of victims of the blast at the Coptic Christian Saint Mark's church in Alexandria the previous day during a funeral procession at the Monastery of Marmina in the city of Borg El-Arab, east of the northern port city on April 10, 2017. Egypt prepared …
MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian churches, in the southern city of Minya, say they will not hold Easter celebrations next Saturday in mourning for 45 Coptic Christians killed this week in twin bombings of churches in two cities during Palm Sunday ceremonies.

In statement on Tuesday, the Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said that celebrations will only be limited to the liturgical prayers “without any festive manifestations.”

Minya province has the highest Coptic Christian population in the country.

Sunday’s bombings, claimed by the Islamic State group, are the latest escalation by the extremist group — which recently vowed to step up its attacks against Egypt’s embattled Christian minority.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi declared a three-month state of emergency following the attacks.

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