Tens of thousands of soldiers and police were deployed across Egypt Saturday to beef up security for minority Christians and their churches on the eve of Orthodox Christmas.
The overwhelming majority of Egypt's Christians are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, which celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7.
The Coptic pontiff, Pope Tawadros II, will lead Christmas Mass later Saturday at an unfinished cathedral in Egypt's new Administrative Capital, a 45-billion-dollar, under-construction project east of Cairo. The Mass will consecrate the new cathedral and mark the first time in living memory that Christmas Mass is not held in St. Mark's Cathedral, the seat of the orthodox church in central Cairo.
The new Cathedral, called the Nativity of Christ, can house up to 9,000 worshippers and is touted as the largest in the Middle East. An estimated 3,000 people are expected to attend Saturday's Mass and ...