As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
Twenty-five were killed on Sunday, mostly women and children. The government does not protect the Christian minority well enough, protesters say. Islamic radicals target their homes and businesses.
The majority of victims are women and children.
Video footage carried by regional media showed the interior of the church littered with broken and scattered furniture, along with blood and clothing on the floor.
“This is an injury to all Egyptians,” said Father Boules Haliem, spokesman for the Coptic Church of Egypt, according to the BBC. “This is about more than the Coptic community, this is an attack on all Egyptians.”
The UN Security Council also condemned the attack.
MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS: TOGETHER AGAINST TERRORISM?
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi encouraged Muslims and Coptic Christians to band together “to emerge victorious in the war against terrorism, which is the battle of all Egyptians”. But radical Muslim groups have been putting pressure on Christians in the country for decades, and businesses and homes of Christians were torched in November.
After the attack, many Coptic Christians gathered outside the Cathedral Christians gathered to show anger at the attack, the worst in years. “As long as any Egyptian blood is cheap, down with any president”, a large group of young men chanted.
“The government doesn’t protect us. They can’t protect us against terrorism in general”, one of the protestors said, according to The Guardian.
“Lots of Christians supported the current regime out of fear of being targeted by Islamist extremists,” said Mina Thabet, an expert on religious minorities at the Cairo-based Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms. This support could now dissipate.
10% OF POPULATION
Coptic Christians make up about 10% of Egypt's population. Copts believe that their Church dates back to around 50 AD, when the Apostle Mark is said to have visited Egypt. Mark is regarded as the first Pope of Alexandria - the head of their church.