Coptic Priest Killed by Church Guard ‘Over Personal Dispute’

Coptic Priest Killed by Church Guard ‘Over Personal Dispute’

Photo: Courtesy of Coptic Orthodox Church

Priest Makkar Saad Makkar was shot inside St Mark’s Church located in Shubra El-Khaima district by a church guard over “a personal dispute,” according to a statement released by Qalioubiya security directorate.

The 54-year-old church guard turned himself into the police station and said that the dispute was about money. The statement revealed that the priest gave Kamal, the guard, EGP 1,000 to help him with his daughter’s wedding expenses.

However, Kamal went to Makkar to ask for more money, and when the priest refused, Kamal shot him multiple times leading to his death. In his confession, Kamal admitted to buying a gun after arguing with the priest and hid it inside the church.

“The Department of Criminal Investigation has been ordered to investigate the incident and release a report,” the statement said. The guard, Kamal, is currently in custody and is placed in detention for the next four days pending the investigation.

Following the incident, the Coptic Orthodox Church released a statement on its official Facebook page asking people to pray and pass their condolences for the late priest.

In mid-December 2018, a church guard killed a Coptic a father, Emad Kamal Sadeq aged 49, and his son,  David aged 21, near a Minya church over a following a dispute.

The victims, described as construction workers in some outlets, were removing the ruins of a demolished house near the al-Nahda Evangelical church prior to the argument with the police officer, according to the Diocese of Minya and Abu Qurqas.

Hundreds of Copts attended the mass funeral service of the victims, lead by Bishop of Minya, Anba Macarius, despite the reigning anger regarding the lack of protection allocated to Copts in Egypt.

“We demand that the armed police individuals guarding the churches undergo a reviewal process; this is also to assess their qualification to carry live weapons, so that they do not become a source of danger, not protection against dangers,” had stated the Bishop on his Twitter account.

The security guard admitted to his crime and was charged with murder resulting in the death sentence.

Mid 2018, the Christian community in a Minya village faced a mob of extremists attacking their church after it received approval to build a church. The scenario was made worse as the police failed to intervene, with one officer promising the attacker that there would be no more churches in the village.

It is estimated that 10 percent of the Egyptian population is Coptic although the Coptic Church states that the percentage is around 15 percent or more.

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