Al-Masry Al-Youm Staff
The Coptic Orthodox Church will send out invitations to presidential hopefuls and all political parties, including Salafi ones, to attend the Christmas holy mass on 7 January, a papal source told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The source said that Pope Shenouda III insisted on inviting both Muslim and Coptic Egyptians to the celebration.
The same source added that security forces will guard the cathedral in cooperation with the army. Young scouts will organize the entry and exit of visitors, and metal detectors will be employed at entrances.
Only visitors carrying invitations will be allowed in after showing their identity cards.
Security is usually tightened around churches during Coptic Christmas celebrations on 7 January.
Twenty-three Copts died in what was believed to be a suicide attack on visitors of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on 1 January 2011.
Copts accuse the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of failing to protect their churches following the ouster of ex-president Hosni Mubarak on 11 February. Copts frequently complain about repeated attacks on churches and poor security.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm