Egypt’s Coptic Christians gathered on Friday night to attend Mass on Christmas Eve at Saint Stephen Coptic Orthodox Church praying for peace and prosperity for the coming year amid grave uncertainty about the nation’s economy.
“ We wish to achieve economic stability in the country and that we can reap the fruits of all the efforts that we have been through by the end of the year. It is a tough beginning of the year but hopefully it is going to be a fruitful year for us and for the country," shares Maged Mourad, Coptic Orthodox worshipper.
Inflation in the country reached an annual rate of above 18% in November.
The Egyptian pound has shriveled in value against the US dollar, hitting a new low earlier this week as the country faces a shortage of foreign currency spurred by the Russian led war in Ukraine
"The thing we wish for the most is world peace. Last year started really well but due to the many challenges of this period we are hoping for peace and everywhere there is a war or famine it affects the whole world so we wish for better peace this year and we hope for our country to take faster steps forward," wishes Mina Magdy, fellow coptic christian.
In the predominantly Muslim country, Coptic Christians make up roughly 10% of the 104 million residents and face various restrictions including interfaith marriages and church building.
President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi attended a Coptic Christmas Eve service, in a public act of inter-religious solidarity.