Egypt’s Churches re-open after 4-month closure
Tuesday، 04 August 2020 - 12:00 PM
Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church re-opened its doors, Monday August 3 morning after four-month closure due to Coronavirus precautionary measures.
The churches partially reopened to perform masses after a decision to close on March 21. It will be a gradual reopening following a decline in the number of infections and deaths due to the pandemic, the church said in a statement.
The church said its decision to reopen is based on daily tallies released by the Health Ministry over the past two weeks.
All precautionary measures should be taken during masses and funeral prayers, it added.
Masses should be performed all days of the week except Fridays, the church noted.
The church said in a statement on Saturday that the gradual reopening decision comes after the decrease of Covid-19 infection cases and deaths as per the daily reports issued by the Ministry of Health over the past two weeks.
Under the gradual reopening, masses, prayers and funerals will be held with the presence of one person per a desk amid the adoption of all preventive measures.
The masses can be performed every day except for Fridays, while the gradual reopening will continue in case the infection cases and deaths are on decrease, the statement added.
Last June, after a three-month closure, Egyptian mosques and Al-Azhar re-opened after being sterilized to receive the worshippers every day except for Fridays, in light of the country’s plan of coping with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Minister of Awqaf [Endowment] Mukhtar Gomaa said in a sermon in Mohamed Ali Mosque that the mosque goer should ablute first in his house, wear a face mask, and avoid hand-shaking. He added that ill people are advised to not go to the mosques, noting that by abiding these rules, the congregational prayers could be resumed again.
The ministry asked every mosque to distribute masks among the worshippers, with closing the door of the mosque after completing the number of the worshippers inside. In addition to this, a 150-centimeter distance among worshippers is applied inside the mosques nationwide.