In Egypt, a bomb exploded during Sunday mass in Cairo’s main Coptic Christian cathedral, killing 25 people and wounding nearly 50 others. The blast tore apart pews and seared pillars, leaving at least six children among the dead. There’s been no claim of responsibility. It was the worst violence against Egypt’s minority Christian population since a series of attacks in 2011
“The Mother of the Martyrs … crossed the seas of agonies,” sang the congregation within the church. Some of the women at the service preformed ululations, a traditional ritual which is meant to signify that the victims who were martyred will go to Heaven.
“The blood of our brothers is dear,” chanted protesters, displaying Egyptian flags and home-made crosses made from tree branches.
Scores of monks, bishops and Orthodox priests were present at the funeral service, which was casted live by state television as well as private TV networks.
Previously, the deadliest attack against Egypt’s Christians was a bombing during New Years day in 2011 in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, which was the seat of the Orthodox Coptic church for centuries. At least 21 victims were killed in the attack.
Later that evening the coffins were carried out of the church and loaded onto ambulances bound for a parade ground in Nasr City. A state funeral is due to be held there on Monday. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi will be present at the funeral. El-Sissi has now declared a three-day state of mourning in honor of the victims.