Terror threats don't disrupt Coptic Christmas

7th January 2011, Comments 0 comments


Christmas Eve mass passed without incident in three Dutch Coptic churches that were included in an online list of possible al-Qaeda targets. Threats on the internet led to fears that the churches might have been attacked. All three churches were put under police surveillance during the services. 

On New Year's Eve, 21 people were killed in a suicide attack on the Coptic al-Qiddissin church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

On Monday, it emerged that al-Qaeda had posted a list of Coptic churches - including address details - on the internet. The Dutch Coptic churches on the list were in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam.

A spokesperson for the Coptic church in Amsterdam said the evening went "exceptionally well". Both services at the Holy Virgin Maria church were packed.

A minute's silence was held for the victims of the suicide attack in Alexandria during the service.

There are around 6,000 Coptic Christians in the Netherlands. Most of them come from Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. Christmas is celebrated on a different date because the Copts use the Alexandrian calendar, with 365 days and six hours. The Coptic church has been in the Netherlands for 25 years.




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