Egypt beefs up security outside churches ahead of Easter

Roshdy was securing the cathedral as part of her job securing churches, so she was further away from the attack.

Asked about Egypt's three-month-long declaration of emergency, Ghabour makes the case that Egyptian authorities are "in an impossible situation because when you fight an organized enemy, you know who it is".

However, Megahed el-Zayat, vice chairman of the National Center for Middle East Studies believes the measure is now essential and will give authorities increased powers to achieve security and stability.

Two suicide bombings claimed by Islamic State at churches in Alexandria and Tanta plunged the nation into mourning and sent shockwaves through a Coptic Christian community that has increasingly been targeted by militants. Hussien was at the main gate checking women who were entering the church. We also pray for our Coptic Orthodox sisters and brothers, who continue to be resilient in the face of ongoing and escalating attacks, and who resist the urge to react vengefully or reciprocally.

"I just want to let everybody know, in case there was any doubt, that we are very much behind President el-Sisi", Trump said. In the second attack, in Alexandria, patriarch Coptic Orthodox Tawadros II was also present. The papal journey was confirmed by Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, substitute of the Vatican's Secretariat of State for General Affairs, in an interview with the Italian daily, "Corriere della Sera": "what happened causes confusion and great suffering but it can not prevent the Pope's mission for peace", he said.

He was unharmed but at least 18 people were killed and 40 others wounded, the interior ministry said. He was unhurt. Footage shows a man being directed into a metal detector at the church gates and pausing to be searched by a police officer, before apparently detonating his device.

In the southern city of Assiut, security barriers closed off an area of about 100-meters around large churches. "Everyone is trying to do their best - highlights Fr. Rafic - but intelligence services need to be strengthened to prevent events like these it is necessary".

"The problem starts at school where children are treated differently", says Lillian Anis, 23, who works in a clothing store. Experts have not been able to collect data on these terrorist groups, with active cells and ready to strike.

No one immediately claimed the attack, which comes a week before Easter. But between 1972 and 2011, the Coptic community was attacked 120 times.

Sunday's attacks followed a December 11 suicide bombing in a Cairo church. There is a honest participation. But that doesn't mean the United States should give El-Sisi a pat on the head and a cookie and send him on his way. "In the same breath, we have no animosity towards anybody", he said.

Despite the reported subdued Easter celebrations and cancelations, Grieche noted that Christians will not stop going to church, even if they have to go through metal detectors and other security measures. I told the faithful to go straight home, not to stop on the streets. "The June 30 revolution saved us from drowning, because Egypt is [divinely] guarded".

  • Leroy Wright