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In this Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 file photo, Pope Tawadros II, the 118th pope of the Coptic Church of Egypt, leads a mass for the Egyptian Christians who were killed in Libya, at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's Coptic Christians have become the preferred target of Islamic State radicals operating in the Arab world's most populous nation, seeking to sow discord, undermine President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, and split the country. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

After attacks, Egypt's Pope curbs Easter celebrations

CAIRO — The Coptic Christian Pope Tawadros II says he will be canceling most Easter celebrations, limiting them to a simple mass, following the recent twin attacks on churches by Islamic State militants that killed dozens of Christian worshippers.

 

During his sermon on Good Friday, Pope Tawadros said, "Easter celebrations shouldn't come at a time of offering condolences to our martyrs." He said that the Easter morning reception, in which worshippers exchange greetings, would also be cancelled. In a rare show of discontent and anger, several dioceses and monasteries across the country issued similar statements, blaming the government for failing to protect churches.

 

During Palm Sunday prayers, suicide bombers targeted two separate churches packed with worshippers in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Nile Delta city of Tanta, killing 45.

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