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Dyker Heights church prays for victims of Egypt Palm Sunday explosions

Posted at 11:20 PM, Apr 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-09 23:20:58-04

DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn — Churchgoers are remaining vigilant on Palm Sunday after bombgs went off in two separate churches in Egypt.

"I woke up early on Palm Sunday and it ended being a very sad Palm Sunday for us," Mina Kolta, a member of Saint George Coptic Orthodox Church told PIX11. "A lot of people lost their lives."

Members of the church were reciting psalms and listening to the gospel at the special Palm Sunday evening services. They were also remembering more than 40 Coptic Egyptians who lost their lives in terrorist attacks in Alexandria and in Tanta.

"It's really concerning, sad and depressing," Girman Rashad, the Sunday School teacher at Saint George Church told PIX11. "To see friends and family going through this, worried about relatives, it is so sad."

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks occurring a week before Coptic Easter.

The second bomb went off at Saint Mark's Cathedral, the historic seat of the Coptic pope.

Pope Tawadros had been leading the mass at the time of the explosion, but was not injured.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt later this month and remembered Pope Tawadros in his prayers Sunday.

This assault is the latest on a religious minority increasingly targeted by Islamic militants.

"We just keep asking why," Rashad told PIX11. "Our church was founded on martyrdom, but still we are asking why."

President Donald Trump tweeted "so sad to hear of the terrorist attack in Egypt. US strongly condemns. I have great confidence that President Al Sisi will handle situation properly."