Agenzia Fides has reported that the Egyptian Interior Minister, Magdi Abdel Ghaffar, suggested that Christians should reduce visits and celebrations in churches, due to security risks.
The Vatican news agency stated, on 9 June 2017, that as Egypt is under attack by forces wishing to destabilize the country, emergency measures are being proposed by State security forces. Primarily it is proposed that Christians reduce visits and celebrations in churches and Monasteries. Until the current emergency phase passes, Christians should, they say, avoid the conspicuous gathering of crowds at places of worship and prayer.
These measures come in the wake of ongoing attacks by ISIS extremists on Christians in northern Sinai and deadly bombings in Churches in recent months.
The move, however, has met with concerns and contradicts hopes expressed by Egyptian tourism policy makers, wising to profile Egypt as a destination for Christian pilgrims, wanting to follow the Holy Family’s ‘Flight into Egypt’.
Those hopes were enhanced last month when UNESCO announced its decision to proclaim the pilgrimage route a World Heritage of Humanity.
Fr Michael McCabe SMA, Provincial of the Society of African Missions in Ireland, has asked readers to remember in their prayers the SMA mission in Egypt during this tense and stressful time.
The Agenzia Fides article may be read by clicking here.
To read Agenzia Fides article on UNESCO World Heritage ‘Path of Holy Family’ click here.