KERDASA, Egypt — Three times a week without fail, the sound of ancient chants reverberates from the blackened walls of the Church of the Archangel Michael. Once aglow with precious icons and flickering candlelight, the Coptic church outside Cairo now stands nearly bare, looted and burned by an angry mob more than four months ago.
In this holiday season, many Copts, adherents of one of the oldest Christian sects, see Egypt’s turbulent times as a test of their faith. Although the country as a whole has been roiled by violent political upheaval, its Coptic minority feels particularly imperiled, as do many fellow Christians elsewhere in the Middle East.
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