Coptic Christian churches in Egypt have decided to cancel Easter services after bombing attacks killed 49 people and injured more than 100 others at two churches on Palm Sunday.
Christian Today reports that, although Easter celebrations have been called off, the Coptic churches will still hold prayer services.
“The Easter mass will be limited to prayers only,” said Bishop Makarious of Minya and Abu Korkas.
The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese will reportedly be commemorating Easter “without any festive manifestations.” The prayer services will also be a time to honor those killed in the bomb blasts.
Egyptian Christians have experienced heightened persecution in recent months. In December, another bomb blast killed 27 Christians who were attending a church service.
The most recent attacks were perpetrated by the Islamic State which issued a video message saying more attacks are to come and that Christians are their “favorite prey.”
Egypt is currently under a three-month state of emergency due to the violence.
Coptic Christians have deep roots in Egypt, going all the way back to the time of the early Church. In modern times, Egyptian Christians make up about 10 percent of the country’s population.
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Publication date: April 12, 2017