photos of Copts celebration of the Birth of Virgin Mary
CAIRO - 27 August 2017: Thousands of Copts celebrate Queenship of Virgin Mary among high security measures.
Over two weeks, thousands of Copts and Muslims flocked to Derenka monastery to celebrate the Queenship of Virgin Mary in Assiut town starting 7th of August. “Derenka monastery receives about 5 million visitors a year” said the reverend priest Luqa Ameen to Youm7 newspaper.
Celebrations were characterized by tight security measures, especially after the decision taken by most of the churches last month, following the incident of the Coptic Monastery of Anba Samuel in Menia city, to cancel celebration of birthdays, festivals, and Coptic trips. Yet the tight security measures never stopped both Christians and Muslims to enjoy celebrating the Queenship of Virgin Mary.
This taken decision prompted the monastery to cancel many of the celebration’s ceremonies that were carried out in previous years in coordination with security officers. Children Swings were canceled and candy-selling shops located in the neighboring area to the monastery were closed for safer security considerations. The celebration entailed only religious and ecclesiastical rituals.
The police prevented the cars from climbing up the mountain of the Virgin Mary, and only allowed the permit holders to enter. Each family was given only one permit with the car number and driver's name. The taxis were stopped for inspection by the police, cars and buses of the monastery took visitors up to the cave church which was the sanctuary of Virgin Mary when she visited Egypt.
Church Scouts searched the bags of visitors, through three accurate electronic gates, and did not allow the access of aromatic substances or flammable materials, and for the first time prevented Muslims from visiting the monastery.