Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Three Egyptian Coptic monk have been “brutally killed” inside a monastery in South Africa, the Church has said.

Father Takla Moussa, Father Minah ava Marcus and Father Youstos ava Marcus were murdered early on Tuesday, the South African Archdiocese of the Coptic Orthodox Church said in a statement.

An Egyptian member of the Church has been arrested as a possible suspect.

The murder has sent shockwaves throughout the Coptic Orthodox community in South Africa and beyond.

“Our pain and sadness, no amount [of] words can express, but we know that they rejoice in paradise in the bosom of our Fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” the Church statement said..

Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church in London described the murders as “saddening and shocking”.

They were killed at the Saint Mark and Saint Samuel the Confessor monastery located in Cullinan, a small town 30 km (18 miles) east of the capital, Pretoria.

All three were discovered with stab wounds, provincial police spokesperson Col Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

A survivor told the police he was hit by an iron rod but managed to escape and hide.

The police are still trying to determine the motive for the killings, Col Nevhuhulwi said, adding that the attackers “reportedly left the scene without taking any valuable item(s)”.

Violent crime levels are high in South Africa and the country has one of the world’s highest murder rates.

Monks in the Coptic Orthodox Church, one of the world’s oldest churches, devote their lives to prayer and spiritual growth.

By Joy

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