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Egypt Virus Outbreak Forces Coptic Pope to Hold Easter Services at Empty Monastery

Egypt Virus Outbreak Forces Coptic Pope to Hold Easter Services at Empty Monastery

Sunday, 19 April, 2020 - 09:30
The Cairo Tower lights up with text encouraging Egyptians to stay home and safe, in Cairo, Egypt. (EPA)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II held on Sunday Easter services in an empty monastery in the desert amid coronavirus restrictions which kept the faithful from gathering at churches and monasteries across the country.


The services were held at the Monastery of Saint Pishoy, in a desert valley west of Cairo known as Wadi Natrun. Few clergies attended the services, which aired on Coptic Orthodox television station. The clerics were seen practicing social distancing during the prayers.


The Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, decided this month to suspend Easter prayers and celebrations at churches and monasteries because of the spread of the virus.


Egypt has reported 3,032 virus cases, including 224 deaths.


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