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07 Jan 2020 | 03:50 AM UTC

Egypt: Coptic Christmas celebrated on January 7

Coptic Christmas to be celebrated on January 7; heightened security measures to be expected

culture
security
transportation
EGY

Event

Coptic Christians will celebrate Christmas across the country on Tuesday, January 7. The government will likely deploy additional soldiers and security personnel around places of worship and at other strategic areas as was done on previous years. Fixed and mobile security check points may also be deployed throughout the country.

Context

The Christian community has been targeted in a number of violence incidents in recent years in Egypt. On November 2, Islamic State (IS) militants attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians en route from Sohag to the Monastery of Saint Samuel the Confessor (Minya governorate), which left seven people dead. IS also claimed attacks in 2017 on Palm Sunday and another attack on a bus traveling to the Saint Samuel Monastery.

Advice

Due to the prevailing threat of terrorism, individuals throughout Egypt should report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities and always be on guard when visiting sites deemed particularly vulnerable to an attack (e.g. public transportation, train stations, ports, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.).