On Thursday 7 April 2022, the Ministry of Interior announced on its official Facebook page the arrest of a 60-year-old man who stabbed an archpriest to death in Alexandria.
Arsanios Wadeed, 56, an archpriest of the Church of the Virgin Mary and Mar Bolous, in the Karmouz district of Alexandria was killed by the man on Thursday evening.
According to state media Al Ahram, the killing took place near Sidi Bishr district while Wadeed was on a trip. While walking along the Corniche, a 60-year-old thrashed and stabbed him with a knife. Wadeed was instantly transported to Moustafa Kamel Military Hospital but passed away before he reached the hospital.
The Coptic Orthodox Church announced its condolences to the victim while highlighting his noble work at the Church, stating on its official Facebook page “The church pays its condolences to the priest who dedicated his life to God and today he gave his life as a true, honest martyr,”
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s leading authority, expressed his condolences to the Coptic Christian community and condemned the killing. Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyib said the killing went against the teachings of Islam and warned it could be used to promote sectarianism in a country that has seen sectarian tensions flare.
The Ministry of Interior has not yet confirmed a motive for the killing but did note in its statement that the man arrested for the killing had ‘mental health’ problems.
Today, Coptic Christians make up nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s population of more than 100 million people.