Today is Russian Orthodox Christmas.
I was planning to post pictures of the big and beautiful Russian Orthodox monastery in Ein Kerem.
But then I read the so very sad news that seven men were gunned down outside the Coptic church right after Christmas Eve Midnight Mass last night in southern Egypt.
In memory of them I give you whatever photos I have of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Jerusalem.
The Copts have a presence in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
You can see their priests and the faithful in this celebration of Palm Sunday 2007.
Since the 13th century the Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria has been represented in Jerusalem by a resident archbishop.
At the entrance to the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate.
I think this was on Via Dolorosa Street.
The only statistics I can find say that in 2001 the small community numbered just over 1,000 members, in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth.
I get the impression that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the Coptic Christians have religious freedom and security.
I wish them well on their Christmas Day and always.