Palm Sunday was a somber one for New York City’s Coptic Christians mourning their brethren in Egypt where attacks on parishioners claimed 43 lives.
Two ISIS suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on churches in Alexandria and Tanta as churchgoers attended Palm Sunday Masses.
Although there are no specific threats to Coptic Christians in New York, the NYPD made their security a priority.
In response to the terrorism, the NYPD — as it has following terrorist attacks against Muslims, Jews and Sikhs all over the country and world – shifted more officers to posts near the city’s Coptic churches.
“Anything relevant to New Yorkers will be considered in deployment,” a police spokesperson told Metro. “They’re always readjusting deployment as it relates to attacks anywhere, and always changing it based on new information.”
Father Gregory of St. Mark’s Church said that the presence of a police squad car is welcome if it provides a sense of security.
“It is a difficult day for us,” he said. “We woke up to the news and the community is mournful but we have a strong faith in our G-d and although it is tragic it is also expected from this world that we live in, because this is a world of suffering and pain.
“We are still trying to deal with it all.”
Nassau County police also increased presence for its Coptic congregations.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said in a statement issued Sunday that “although there are no known imminent threats to Nassau County,” police are stepping up patrols at government buildings, mass transit locations, “critical infrastructure” and “significant public events.”