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Egypt Church Bombing Sours Coptic Christmas

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Egyptian Christian Coptics protest outside the al-Abasseya Cathedral in Cairo on Jan. 2, following the car bomb attack on a church in Alexandria in which 21 people, mostly Coptic worshippers, were killed. (credit: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Egyptian Christian Coptics protest outside the al-Abasseya Cathedral in Cairo on Jan. 2, following the car bomb attack on a church in Alexandria in which 21 people, mostly Coptic worshippers, were killed. (credit: KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A time of joy for Coptic Christians in 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 worshippers 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.

Helena Botros of Los Angeles says that instead of spending money on gifts for family, she will donate the money to victims of the bombing.

She says she is now more grateful that she’s able to celebrate the miracle of the Eucharist without fear.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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