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Christmas Prayers

Tonight is Christmas Eve on the Orthodox Calendar followed by the Copts of Egypt. The BBC is reporting concerns that it may be one marked by violence.

Armed Egyptian police have been ordered to protect churches where Copts are expected to gather in large numbers.

There have been calls for Muslims to hold vigils outside Coptic churches in a gesture of solidarity.

But some radical Islamist websites have urged more attacks, publishing church addresses in Egypt and Europe.

The bombing of the al-Qiddissin Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Day was the worst act of sectarian violence in Egypt in a decade.

It triggered days of protests and riots by Christians blaming the government for encouraging discrimination and not doing enough to protect them.

In response, the Egyptian authorities have stepped up security around many churches, with explosives experts on hand.

Do read it all, and if you’re so inclined please say a prayer for all who worship Christ in hostile environments, confessing that “it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil” (1 Pet 3:17).

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