Nearly quarter of a million security officers were deployed around over 2,626 Churches in Egypt during Christmas celebrations, given the massive attacks and bombings worshipers suffered earlier this year.
“Holidays and vacations were canceled for security personnel and officers at all security directorates across the country,” security sources told government aided news agency in Egypt, Middle East.
Egypt’s interior ministry announced on Tuesday a high security alert level and confirmed allocating 230,000 security personnel, including the military to secure the country’s Christmas celebrations.
Part of the safety measures included CCTV and metal detector systems at houses of worship, Christian Post reported.
Egyptian Christians make up about a tenth of the country’s almost 95 million population and are the Middle East’s largest Christian community.
Terrorists attacked two Coptic churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandira in early April, killing a total of 47 people and wounding 106 others. Most of the attacks were claimed by a Sinai-based group loyal to the terror group Islamic State.
Reuters reported 24 December that Egyptian authorities detained 15 people pending an investigation into an attack on an unlicensed Coptic Christian church in a village south of Cairo.
Dozens of Muslims from the village of Kafr al-Waslin attacked the church after Friday prayers, smashing the windows and breaking everything inside, the archdiocese of Atfih said in a statement.
The diocese had applied to legalize the status of the church, which has housed worshippers for 15 years after a church building law was passed in 2016, the statement said.
Those detained are accused of stirring sectarian strife, harming national unity and destroying private property, one judicial source told Reuters.