President Sisi attends Coptic Mass to wild scenes at St Marks Cathedral in Cairo.

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Egypt’s President Sisi has attended the Coptic Christmas in Cairo mass to mark the first attendance ever made by an Egyptian Muslim president to the religious occasion.

Video footage broadcast by State TV covering the full mass showed crowds cheering and chanting as Sisi entered the iconic Cathedral.

Former Egyptian heads of state have visited the Cathedral including Gamal Abd El-Nasser and interim President Adly Mansour, but this is the first time for a president to attend the actual mass.

On Tuesday, unknown gunmen shot and killed two Egyptian policemen guarding a Catholic church in the southern Egyptian city of Minya.
President Sisi visit coincides with ongoing attacks against Coptic migrants and workers in nearby Libya where many Coptic Christians have been brutally killed or taken hostage.

Coptic Orthodox Christians, estimated to make up between 10 and 20 percent of Egypt’s 90 million population, break their 43-day fast and celebrate Christmas on 7 January. The difference is the due to the observance of the older Julian calendar and not due to any theological difference. The majority of the world’s Orthodox Christians also celebrate Christmas on 7 January.

 

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