The Coptic community in Egypt celebrate Holy Week beginning with Palm Sunday on Sunday, April 21, and culminating with Easter on Sunday, April 28. Easter and Sham al-Nessim, the Spring festival celebrated by all Egyptians on Monday, April 29, are public holidays and associated commercial and government disruptions are expected. Heightened security measures are also likely near Coptic churches and other community areas; increased deployment of security forces and road closures are possible. Militant activity is also possible on and leading up to Easter, including bombings and attacks on Coptic individuals or places of worship.
The Coptic community in Egypt has been targeted in a number of attacks in recent years, particularly since 2013. Islamic State (IS) militants claimed responsibility for bombing two churches on Palm Sunday in 2017, killing 45 people and wounding another 130.
Individuals in Egypt are advised to remain vigilant for militant and terrorist activity, report suspicious objects or behavior to the police, avoid religious gatherings and churches, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
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