Egyptian Copts celebrated the Orthodox Christmas in the Jordanian capital, Amman, in the presence of members of the Egyptian Embassy.
According to the Eastern Orthodox Calendar, based on the Julian calendar as opposed to the Gregorian one, Christmas is celebrated on 7 January. Copts celebrate Christmas every year on this day, as do other Christian Orthodox groups, including the Russian, Greek and Ethiopian churches, among others.
The Egyptian Copts living in the Jordanian capital, Amman, gathered at church to hold midnight mass and celebrate the birth of Jesus under the direction of Father Antonios Sahbi, a representative of the Coptic Patriarchate in Jordan.
The service was attended by members of the Egyptian diplomatic mission to Jordan, including the Egyptian Ambassador to the country, Sharif Kamil.
“I bring a message of congratulations to our Egyptian Coptic people who are in Jordan on Christmas. This is a blessed and good night, and we all celebrate it as Egyptians, Jordanians, and Egyptians living in Jordan”, expressed Kamil.
Christians living in Jordan practise their belief and religious practices freely, without any fear of repression. However, the situation in Egypt has been markedly different over the past few years. Coptic Christians have been the target of a number of terrorist attacks, including a massacre of nine Copts in the Saint Mina Coptic Church in 2017 in a terrorist attack. ISIS, which continues to hold a presence in Egypt, has murdered Coptic Christians in the country.
As a consequence of these incidents, security has been heightened at Coptic churches, especially during celebrations such as Christmas. The Egyptian government has sought to provide the Christians in the country with a sense of safety as it has promised to combat terrorism and sectarianism, especially between Christians and Muslims. It has also reacted military to terrorist attacks against Coptic Christians. The attendance of the Egyptian diplomatic mission at the Christmas service is a sign that the Egyptian authorities are showing interest in the Coptic community both at home and abroad.