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Egyptians gather during the funeral of the victims of the attack on the Saint Mina Coptic church, on Dec. A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo, killing at least nine people in the latest apparent jihadist attack on Egypt's Christian minority.Many Coptic Christians fear their future, said Ramy Kamil, 32, who runs the Christian Maspero Youth Foundation, which was created after the 2011 massacre of 27 Coptic activists protesting the demolition of a church in northern Egypt.“From bombing to indiscriminate firing to direct targeting by extremists, there is a state of anxiety in the community,” Kamil said.The monks believe it was in that tiny cave that St. Father Maximous: No church, no cells, no walls, nothing.Anthony, the first Christian monk, followed God's instructions to seclude himself in the desert. Anthony's remains are buried near here and they've been searching for them for centuries. From nothing - the Copts developed a religious culture that's distinctly Egyptian - everything from music to art to some of the most magnificent churches of the early Christian era.Febe Armanios: I don't think there's a lot of awareness of Egypt's role in the Christian story.
Early last year, the Islamic State, or ISIS, said the community was among its “favorite prey.” As recently as Friday, eight Coptic Christians were gunned down in an attack at a Cairo church, and ISIS claimed responsibility.Egyptians leaders will dedicate the cathedral, called the Nativity of Christ, on Coptic Christmas in the new capital now under construction 28 miles east of Cairo.The cathedral will seat 8,200 worshipers who may be vulnerable to attacks from Muslim extremists.But the final choice is made by a boy who is blindfolded and led to a crystal chalice containing the three names.The name on the piece of paper the boy picks becomes the next pope of Coptic Christians.
“Our new cathedral is not a just a great place for Christian worship,” Halim said.