The murder took place in El-Marg, a north-east suburb of the capital. Local sources speak of "hate crime" carried out by an element close to fundamentalism. The police have found and detained the assailant, now being questioned. Egyptian Christians targeted by Islamic extremism.
Il Cairo (AsiaNews) - A Coptic priest affiliated with a church in Upper Egypt’s governorate of Bani Swaif was stabbed by a man on Thursday, October 12, in Cairo’s northeastern suburb of El–Marg, state-run newspaper of Akhbar Al Youm reported.
The priest, Sam'an Shehata, was in Cairo when a young unemployed man blocked the way in front of his vehicle and asked him to step down from it. He then hit the priest’s head with cleaver and ran away, a local journalist said on condition of anonymity. “It is believed that it is a hate crime that has been executed by an extremist,” he explained.
The Egyptian Coptic Church released a statement asserting that the death of priest Sam'an Shehata occurred near El-Salam city while he was with another priest, Benjamin Moftah, who was also assaulted. The statement did not provide further details about the second priest.
Meanwhile, Akhbar Al–Youm said that the perpetrator has been arrested and is currently being investigated to ascertain the motives behind his attack.
Priest Sam'an was in Cairo to attend a conference he was invited to at a Coptic church in the Cairo suburb of Dar al-Salam close to El-Marg where the incident took place.
Recently in Egypt the latest target of Islamic jihadist human trafficking is women and girls – and the latest reports are appalling.
Muslim men are kidnapping Egyptian Christian women and girls, forcing them to marry, and in so doing, convert them to Islam. The abducted are also subjected to physical and sexual abuse, drugging, domestic servitude, and prostitution.
Islamic abductors benefit materially as they are provided with, among other things, new and improved housing arrangements and jobs for family members. According to the Washington Times, one Coptic Christian activist sees the abductions as “part of a campaign to Islamicize Egypt's Christian community” as happened in the past in Pakistan.
Attacks on Egypt's Christians, who account for about 10 percent of the country's 94 million people, have surged in recent months, with a series of suicide bombings claimed by the Islamic State group killing more than 100 since December.
In recent months, the Egyptian Christian community has been the subject of a series of attacks, the last of which was the assault on a Coptic pilgrim bus on May 26, which killed dozens of people. Since December, almost a hundred members of the religious minority (about 10% of the total population, more than 90 million inhabitants) have been killed by Islamic fundamentalists.
These include the victims of the Palm Sunday attacks on churches, and the those killed in the attack on St. Mark's Coptic cathedral in Abassiya, Cairo, last December. In the hours after the attacks, Daesh [Arabic acronym for the Islamic State] claimed the attacks and threatened new violence against the minority in the country.(DS)