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Bay Area Coptic Christians Celebrate Amid Tight Security

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Saint Antonius Coptic Orthodox Church in Hayward (www.antonius.org)

Saint Antonius Coptic Orthodox Church in Hayward (www.antonius.org)

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HAYWARD (KCBS/AP) – Coptic Christians in the Bay Area celebrated the start of Orthodox Christmas festivities with midnight mass amid tight security.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

This time of joy for Coptic Christians in the Bay Area and all over the U.S. has turned into a time of somber reflection because of a brutal terrorist attack on a church in Egypt.

A New Year’s Day bombing that killed 21 worshipers at a church in Egypt has soured the Christmas holiday, which Copts celebrate on Jan. 7.

Coptic leaders from New Jersey to California have declared days of additional fasting and prayer after the bombing and canceled the concerts, children’s plays, receptions and feasts that traditionally mark the holiday.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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