Coptic Church halts religious trips over ‘security concerns’

BY

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 - 07:16 GMT

Margirigis Church in Tanta - File photo

Margirigis Church in Tanta - File photo

CAIRO – 13 July 2017: Egypt’sCoptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria suspended all summer religious conferences and trips for two months due to “security concerns,” announced Church Spokesperson bishop Paul Halim in a statement on Thursday.

“It is inappropriate to organize trips and continue organizing conferences amid the current security circumstances,” Halim said, adding that “It is better to suspend the trips and conference during this period to protect the Church people.” The decision of suspension applies until August.

Archbishop of the Protestant Churches of Egypt André Zaki notified 18 bishops, the heads of protestant churches about the decision, adding that the churches are coordinating with the Ministry of Interior.

“The Church’s decision is precautionary following the attacks targeted the Copts,” he said.

On May 26, Twenty-nine people were killed and at least 25 others injured after unknown gunmen opened fire at a bus, which was carrying more than 40 Coptic Christians, along the Western Desert Road in Minya, Upper Egypt, on Friday.

The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack. Egyptian air forces, in cooperation with the Libyan armed forces, launched six airstrikes on suspected terrorist hotbeds in Libya, after it had been confirmed that those terrorists were involved in the Minya attack.

Following that attack the churches have decided to reduce the number of religious trips to monasteries in the Red Sea governorate. Other scheduled conferences were postponed as a precautious action.

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