Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inaugurated what's been dubbed the Middle East's largest cathedral, in the New Administrative Capital (NAC) on Sunday. The opening was followed by a midnight mass held in the building, the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, on the eve of Coptic Christmas.
President el-Sisi was accompanied by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other prominent political... Еще and religious leaders. He also inaugurated the country's largest mosque, also located in the NAC.
The midnight mass was held by Coptic Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria at the new cathedral, which the government says is the largest cathedral in the Middle East.
Coptic Christians comprise 10 percent of Egypt’s population and have been increasingly targeted over the past few years by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
The inauguration follows an explosion that killed a police officer as he tried to defuse a bomb near a Coptic church in Cairo on Saturday.
The Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ can hold over 8,000 people while the al-Fattah al-Aleem Mosque can accommodate double that number. The two buildings are located in the New Administrative Capital, about 45 km (28 miles) east of Cairo.