The Boutrossiya chapel, which is adjacent to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral of St. Mark in Cairo, was restored following a pledge from President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that it would be ready for Coptic Christmas celebrations on 7 January.
The church reopened a week sooner, on New Year’s Eve. Coptic leader Pope Tawadros II presided over Mass on New Year’s Day and then visited the families of the victims of the 11 December attack.
Some of the walls and columns were left pockmarked as a “testimony and remembrance” of the victims.
Contrary to early reports of a woman leaving a bag which then exploded, the Egyptian government later said Mahmoud Shafik, a 22-year-old radicalised Muslim, had detonated a suicide vest he wore.