Coptic Priest Murdered in Cairo in Latest Anti-Christian Sectarian Attack in Egypt
As I've reported here at PJ Media, the Coptic Christian community in Egypt -- the largest Christian community in the Middle East -- has been under siege. It suffered multiple suicide bombings of churches this year on Palm Sunday, and the massacre of a busload of Coptic pilgrims on their way to a monastery just hours before the beginning of Ramadan.
The random killings of Copts throughout the country, as well as targeted kidnappings, have added fears during the continuing violence. Now comes a report this morning that two Coptic priests have been attacked, with one murdered, earlier today in Cairo:
Egypt Independent reports:
A Coptic priest affiliated with a church in Upper Egypt’s governorate of Beni Suef was killed on Thursday due to being stabbed by a man in Cairo’s northeastern suburb of El–Marg, state-run newspaper of Akhbar Al Youm reported.
The priest, Samaan Shehta, was in Cairo when a young unemployed man blocked the way in front of the priest’s vehicle and asked him to step down from it. He then hit the priest’s head with cleaver and ran away, a local journalist told Egypt Independent on condition of anonymity.
“It is believed that it is a hate crime that has been executed by an extremist affiliated to IS or Salafism,” he explained.
The Egyptian Coptic Church released a statement asserting that the death of priest Samaan Shehta occurred near El-salam city while he was with another priest, Benjamin Moftah, who was also assaulted. The statement did not provide further details about the second priest.
Last week, a VBIED was found near a church in Cairo:
The series of attacks targeting the Coptic community over the past year have left more than one hundred victims killed.
In May, I reported on the attack on a busload of Coptic pilgrims headed towards a monastery in Upper Egypt that was stopped by gunmen just hours before the beginning of Ramadan: