My sister, who lives in Cairo informed me that during the week, between the horrendous incident (the bombing at the Saints church in 2011 which killed 22 copts) of the New Year and Christmas Eve, priests in all parishes encouraged their congregation to put fear aside and follow their ancestors, who gave up their lives in defence of their faith.
All television programs in the Egyptian Christian Channels, presented films, talks, and interviews pertaining to martyrdom – encouraging Christians to “Have No Fear of Death”. My sister also informed me, that most of the parishes in Egypt were overcrowded with parishioners on Christmas Eve! Copts went that night with the hearts of martyrs. One of the priest’s talks was about the rank of the ‘Confessor’. During his sermon, he shouted with tears in his eyes, “I am proud to be a part of the faith of the Coptic Church, who prepares her congregation to be martyrs and all the members of the Church confessors”.
Newspapers and media said that Coptic churches in all Egypt have never been as busy at Christmas Eve as they were that year. One church magazine headline was ‘Fear of death has never stopped Copts from practicing their faith and going to church.” The congregation proudly wore their faith as their armour and persevered.