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3 Egyptian Monks Murdered in South Africa Monastery

March 13, 2024
Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, where the head of the Church resides. Image Credit: EgyptPortalTours

Three Egyptian monks were murdered inside a Coptic monastery in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church announced through a website statement on Tuesday, 12 March.

The Church identified the victims as Yostos Ava Markos, Mina Ava Markos, and Hegumen Takla El-Samuely. The latter served as the deputy of the Coptic Diocese of South Africa.

In a statement, the Church expressed profound grief over the tragic incident, offering sincere condolences to the families of the monks and praying for comfort and truth to be revealed amid this tragedy.

“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,” said the Coptic Orthodox Church in South Africa in a Facebook post.

“​​All three victims were found with stab wounds while a fourth who survived alleged that he was hit by an iron rod before fleeing and hiding,” South African police spokesperson Colonel Dimakatso Nevhuhulwi told Reuters in a statement.

“The motive (for the) murders is unknown at this stage…[the culprit] left the scene without taking any valuable item(s)” Nevhuhulwi added.

The Egyptian ambassador in Johannesburg, Ahmed Elfadly, also arrived at the monastery to follow up on the investigation.

Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, is also closely following the incident and awaits further information on its causes, the statement added.

As of 2019, at least 40,000 Egyptians live in South Africa.

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