The Coptic Orthodox Church has settled all debate concerning its upcoming Christmas celebrations—Copts celebrate Christmas on 29 Kiahk which coincides with 7 January. The Church’s spokesman, Father Boulos Halim, announced that Christmas celebrations will be on on as usual, and will not be canceled. In light of the recent tragedy at al-Boutrossiya church in Cairo where a suicide bombing on 11 December claimed the lives of 26 worshippers, several Copts posted on social media opinion that Christmas and New Year celebrations should be called off, in respect for the lost lives. However, others argued that welcoming the New Year and celebrating the birth of the Christ must not be cancelled under any conditions; cancelling celebration would be tantamount to giving in to the terrorists.
The controversy came to an end this afternoon, 19 December, with an announcement by Fr Boulos that: “the Church is confirming that the traditional celebrations will be held. The deep pain caused by the Boutrossiya incident was countered by abundant Divine comfort. The Church has laid her martyrs to rest with great pride; they testified to Christ during the most sacred moments of Holy Mass. They have joined other Egyptians who sacrificed their lives for the nation. Our grief is only for those whose hearts are consumed with hatred.
“We will thus let go ahead with the ceremonial celebrations, even as we hold unto the warm sentiments displayed towards us by the children of this nation. Such sentiments invariably serve to unite us.”
19 December 2016