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A Coptic Christmas: 'We Are Ready to Die in Any Church that They Wish to Bomb'

01-10-2017

Egypt's Coptic Christians celebrated Christmas Mass at Saint Mark's Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo this weekend, surrounded by armored vehicles and heavily armed troops.

The Christian community of Egypt has been a target for terrorists over the years. Just last month, an ISIS suicide bomber struck a church service in Cairo on Dec. 11, killing 28 worshipers.

Still, some Coptic believers say they will not allow fear of Islamic terrorism to keep them from worshipping.

"I hope to be one of the martyrs, and we are ready to die in any church that they wish to bomb. We are not scared," said Coptic Christian Sohair Moussa.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi attended the Coptic Christmas service to show solidarity with the beleaguered minority Christians.

Egypt's Christians account for some 10 percent of the nation's population of 90 million. 

Mostly members of the Orthodox church, one of Christendom's oldest, the Copts have long suffered discrimination and violence at the hands of the nation's Muslim majority.

Last week, a Muslim slit the throat of a Coptic Christian man in Alexandria because he sold alcohol in his shop.

And Islamic radicals burned many churches in 2013 after the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.

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