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South Africa

Three Coptic Orthodox monks killed in S.African church

todayMarch 13, 2024 7

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South African police were on Wednesday investigating the murder of three monks of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox faith.

The motive for the fatal stabbings remains unclear.

The monks at a church in Cullinan, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) northeast of Pretoria, were murdered on Tuesday, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said.

“Three victims were found with stab wounds while the fourth victim that survived alleged that he was hit by an iron rod on his hand before fleeing and hiding in one of the rooms,” SAPS said.

The police refused to confirm the nationality of the victims, but according to the church the Egyptian ambassador to South Africa visited the monastery to “follow up on the situation”.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of South Africa, in a Facebook message, expressed “deep anguish over the occurence of such a tragic incident”.

The church also extended condolences to the families of the monks, identified on the church’s social media pages as Hegumen Takla El-Samuely, Yostos Ava Markos and Mina Ava Markos.

The suspects left the scene without taking any “valuable item or properties from the place”, according to police.

South Africa has one of the world’s highest crime rates in the world and in recent months places of worship have been targeted, with criminal incidents often documented on social media.

The southern African nation recorded almost 84 murders a day between October and December, according to police statistics released this month.

The Coptic community in South Africa consists of around 4,500 families, according to the church’s website, in a country of around 60 million people.





Written by: Staff Writer

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