Egypt: Coptic Archbishop stabbed to death, declared a martyr

Monday, April 18, 2022

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A Coptic Archbishop who was stabbed to death on a street in Egypt earlier this month has been declared a martyr by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Alexandria, Morning Star News (MSN) reports. Archbishop Arsanious Wadidw was dressed in clerical attire and clearly identifiable as a priest when he was murdered by a lone knifeman as he handed out Ramadan gifts in Alexandria’s Maharam Bek District on April 7.

Described only as a 60-year-old beggar, the murderer approached Wadidw and stabbed him three times in the neck, MSN said. Bystanders apprehended the killer until police arrived and took him into custody. Wadidw was transported to Mostafa Kamel Military Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

Alexandrian investigating authorities stated the killer was found to have mental health problems at the time of the murder, and that no motive had been discovered as yet. However, according to MSN, this type of assertion is commonly made following attacks on Christians in Egypt.

In a statement condemning the killing, Archbishop Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom said: “In clerical attire in a public space with no one else attacked, it can be safely assumed that Father Arsanious Wadid was targeted as a priest. With a suspect in custody, we wait to see whether investigations rule this to be an ‘individual event’ or part of a known wider phenomenon.”

“While Egypt’s government speaks positively about the Christian community, the lack of serious law enforcement and the unwillingness of local authorities to protect Christians leave them vulnerable to all kinds of attacks,” Open Doors said in a website statement. “The dictatorial nature of the regime means Christians feel unable to speak out against these practices.”

Egypt ranks 20th on the US Open Doors Watch List 2022 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.