Egyptian Catholics celebrate Christmas amid high security

Egyptian Catholics celebrated Christmas Monday night at the Virgin Mary Cathedral in Nasr City amid tight security measures.

The celebrations started at 9 pm with psalms by the cathedral's chorus, followed by Christmas prayers.

“We thank President Mohamed Morsy for delegating his representative to the event,” said Father Yuhanna Qulta, who led the service. The event was also attended by representatives for the interior minister and Al-Azhar.

“Throughout my life, I have never seen Al-Azhar exhibiting extremism. We are praying for Egypt, and also for Al-Azhar to maintain its moderation,” Qulta said. “We pray for President Morsy, whom I had the honor to meet three times and witness before God that he sincerely seeks to push Egypt forward. We pray for him and for those who collaborate with him.”

Qulta said he, personally, prays for the Freedom and Justice Party, the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm. "I invite all forces to engage in dialogue with them. Egypt will not see progress except with the help of all its parties."

Statistical experts say Catholics and Evangelicals account for 10 percent of the country's Christians, while 90 percent are Orthodox.

Edited translation from MENA

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