Priest ‘hacked to death’ in Egypt ambush – ‘Can we not walk down a street anymore?’

Sunday, December 3, 2017
By Paul Martin

CHRISTIANS are desperately appealing for help after a priest was “hacked to death” in an ambush in Egypt.

Sun, Dec 3, 2017

A Coptic Orthodox priest was slaughtered in the street in the Egyptian capital last month, horrifying Christians in the country.

This week the priest’s killer, 19-year-old Ahmad Saeed Ibrahim al-Sonbati, was sentenced to death for the horrific attack, which also left another priest injured.

Open Doors, a Christian persecution watchdog, said priest Samaan Shehata was “attacked with a cleaver” when he was visiting Cairo for a conference.

The group, quoting local press, said the killer had been looking for “any priest” to kill when he stumbled across Mr Shehata.

He noted Mr Shehata’s attire and chose him as a target, blocking his car before hacking him to death.

Open Doors said: “al-Sonbati had decided to kill any Coptic priest, purchased a dagger and lay in wait for one to pass by in a street leading to the local church.

“He reportedly blocked Shehata’s vehicle when it passed by and forced him to get out.”

The death sentence verdict has been forwarded to the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s highest judicial official, who must give his approval.

The killing sparked a shocked response across the Christian world.

Coptic Bishop Angaelos of the United Kingdom said: “Another day in Egypt with another Coptic Christian murdered. Why should a priest not be able to walk safely down a street?”

He said it followed a string of other violent attacks on Coptics in Egypt over the past months.

Bishop Angaelos said: “Coptic Christians who have endured injustice, persecution, and loss of life for centuries without retaliation, repeatedly forgiving unconditionally, deserve to live with respect and dignity in their indigenous homeland.”

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