Local Coptic church reacts to terror attack on Egypt

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Tucked in the pines of Chapel Hill, Archangel Raphael St. Johns, a Coptic Christian Church has its doors open on this Palm Sunday. (WTVD)

Tucked in the pines of Chapel Hill, Archangel Raphael and St. John the Beloved, a Coptic Christian Church has its doors open on this Palm Sunday.

Inside of the church, there are 20 pews, all filled with parishioners. The aisles bare a similar resemblance: full.

Father Angelos Bishara is finishing up the first service of the day, a service that started just after eight Sunday morning, ending in the early afternoon.

He walks the aisles of the church, splashing parishioners with Holy Water.

This celebration of Palm Sunday coming just hours after a Coptic Christian church in Tanta and another in Alexandria bore a similar service, a service that would end in both Egyptian churches falling victim to the brutality of ISIS.

"That's me, that's my brother, that's my sister," parishioner Basant Matta said after being asked her first thoughts after learning the news. "I have family back in Egypt still and they were in the same service I was in."

"They would be standing like us, or any parish... and one minute they are standing together, enjoying the service, and another minute, everyone is gone," Priest of Archangel Raphael St. Johns the Beloved, Father Angelos Bishara said.

But in Chapel Hill, on this day of terror, one Christians in Egypt are all too familiar with, and on this Palm Sunday, fear does not reign control over the church.

Father Angelos said "you hold hurt, but you don't have anger. You hold loss, but you don't have anxiety. These paradoxes have to be maintained and it sometimes requires a supernatural strength."

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